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Judge issues bench warrant for fugitive Reiss

MANNING--A judge has issued a bench warrant for a Killdeer man accused of multiple crimes ranging from child neglect and drug possession to illegally owning a pet rattlesnake.

MANNING-A judge has issued a bench warrant for a Killdeer man accused of multiple crimes ranging from child neglect and drug possession to illegally owning a pet rattlesnake.

John James Reiss III had his bond forfeited to the state after he failed to make an appearance at a Thursday morning preliminary hearing overseen by Southwest District Judge Dann Greenwood at the Dunn County Courthouse.

Reiss and his wife, Sara Brooke Reiss, face a series of charges stemming from a March 21 search of their rural Killdeer home that allegedly uncovered methamphetamine and associated paraphernalia along with the pet rattlesnake, which, according to a criminal complaint, was named "Richard."

Both John and Sara Reiss were charged with four felonies, three of which were the Class C felony of neglect of a child under the age of 5. They were also both charged with the Class C felony of meth possession, the Class A misdemeanor of possession of meth paraphernalia and the Class B misdemeanor of possession of a venomous reptile without a permit.

The child neglect charges were added on after the search and were attributed to allegedly unsafe and unsanitary living conditions.

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Dunn County State's Attorney Pat Merriman said Thursday that John Reiss's whereabouts were unknown and that Reiss's defense counsel had reported having no contact with him.

"We presume he is still a fugitive and we have no explanation for his failure to appear today," Merriman said in court. Sara Reiss said after her time in court that she did not know her husband's whereabouts.

John Reiss was arrested the day before the March 21 search on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear in court on a suspended license charge. Sara Reiss, as well as Shaun Paul and Philip McCoy, both of Killdeer, were arrested in the search.

Paul was also charged with meth possession and possession of meth paraphernalia. McCoy faces two charges of the terrorizing and one charge possession of an automatic rifle silencer or bomb-both of which are Class C felonies-and two misdemeanor charges of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Both Sara Reiss and Paul appeared at Thursday's preliminary hearing and pleaded not guilty to their charges.

Merriman said both had done well on the 24/7 drug and alcohol monitoring program required by the terms of their bonds. On the request of the Dunn County Sheriff's Department, their twice-daily urine testing was reduced to once a week.

Greenwood said both Sara Reiss and Paul's cases will be assigned to a judge for further proceedings, including trial.

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