KILLDEER — A rural Killdeer couple is at the center of multiple charges that allegedly involved drugs, explosives and a pet rattlesnake — all of which contributed to child neglect — after multiple law enforcement agencies executed a search warrant of their property Friday.
John J. Reiss III and his wife, Sara Brooke Reiss, have been charged with four felonies — including three Class C felony charges each of neglect of a child under the age of 5.
Dunn County Sheriff Clay Coker said both John and Sarah Reiss, as well as Shaun Paul, also of Killdeer, were arrested for possession of methamphetamine, a Class C felony, and meth paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor.
According to their respective criminal complaints, John and Sarah Reiss exposed their three children — ages 5, 3 and 2 — to meth, drug paraphernalia, explosives, assault weapons, unsafe and unsanitary living conditions, and people who were under the infl uence of illegal controlled substances. The child neglect charges were added Monday by the Dunn County State Attorney’s Offi ce while the Reisses both were being held at the Southwest Multi County Correctional Center.
The couple also each face a Class B misdemeanor charge of possessing a venomous reptile without the required state permit.
The reptile was a rattlesnake named “Richard,” according to the complaint. Coker said the Reisses have admitted to having kept the animal for several years.
John Reiss was arrested Thursday on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear in court on a suspended license charge. Paul, Sara Reiss and Philip McCoy, of Killdeer, were arrested Friday in the search. McCoy had an outstanding Dickinson city warrant.
At a farmstead owned by the Reiss family, Coker said, an improvised explosive device was also found and had to be disposed of by the Bismarck Bomb Squad.
Also located in the searches were livestock bearing illegally altered brands and weapons that had been modifi ed.
The Southwest Tactical Team, the Badlands Narcotics Task Force and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigations were part of the search, along with the Dunn County Sheriff’s Offi ce. The North Dakota Department of Game and Fish and the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association responded to the incident because of the animal crimes discovered during the search.
“A lot of fl uid things had to come together to do it safely,” Coker said.
Coker added that he anticipates there being more charges fi led and possibly more arrests stemming from information obtained from the search warrants.
“We’re still in the middle of developing some other cases,” he said.