Officers shot in Benton County were executing search for methamphetamine, court documents show

The five officers who were shot in Benton County last week were executing a search warrant for methamphetamine, court records show.

A search warrant filed in Benton County on Oct. 4 states that law enforcement had reasonable suspicion to believe that Karl Thomas Holmberg and Dorine Kay Holmberg were involved in the possession and sale of methamphetamine.

The warrant says that in January 2023, a Confidential Reliable Informant (CRI) notified law enforcement that they believed the Holmbergs were selling methamphetamine and using their vehicles to facilitate the sales.

The CRI purchased methamphetamine from the Holmbergs on the 200 block of 190th Avenue NE in Glendorado on two separate occasions in the early months of 2023, according to the search warrant.

On June 12, Sept. 18 and Oct. 2, law enforcement officials pulled trash from the Holmberg’s trash cans which led to the discovery of multiple plastic baggies containing methamphetamine residue, a needle cap that tested positive for methamphetamine, empty butane canisters and items of mail addressed to the Holmberg’s at their residence.

A search warrant was granted for officials to search the Holmberg’s home, vehicles and shed, court records show.

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office says a drug task force was executing the search warrant at Holmberg’s home shortly after 7 a.m. on Oct. 12 when the officers came under fire. A standoff ensued and Karl Holmberg, 64, was arrested after several hours of negotiations at around 10:47 a.m.

Karl Thomas Holmberg (Benton County Jail)

The next day, Benton County prosecutors filed six counts of attempted first-degree murder of a peace officer and six counts of first-degree assault of a peace officer against Karl Holmberg.

According to the sheriff’s office, three of the injured task force members were deputies from the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office, one was from the Princeton Police Department and the fifth was from the Elk River Police Department. The sheriff’s office said two of the Sherburne County deputies were hit in their bulletproof vests and were treated and released later Thursday. Two of the three other officers have also been released from the hospital, while the third remains hospitalized in stable condition.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension on Wednesday named two of the three officers who fired weapons during the standoff: Benton County Deputy Ron Thomas fired a pistol and Sherburne County Patrol Sgt. Austin Turner fired a less-lethal round. A deputy on the Sherburne County Drug Task Force also fired a rifle, but investigators are not releasing his name because he was undercover.

BCA investigators said Holmberg was treated for minor injuries but did not say which munitions hit him, if any.

A separate search warrant filed in Benton County permitted law enforcement to search the Holmberg’s home for items related to starting a fire, according to court records. The warrant states that photographs of the scene were taken, but no physical evidence was collected.

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