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Mandan men face firearms, drug charges after Wednesday bust

Mandan men face firearms, drug charges after Wednesday bust

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Two men were charged Friday after officials found at a Mandan residence five pounds of methamphetamine, several other types of drugs, more than 30 weapons and materials they say could be used to make explosive devices.

Shane Smith, 40, and Nicholas Lelm, 40, both of Mandan, are in custody at Burleigh Morton Detention Center. They face three counts of drug possession with intent to deliver, two drug conspiracy charges, and drug paraphernalia, short barrel weapon and explosives possession. Lelm additionally is charged as a felon in possession of a firearm.

Metro Area Narcotics Task Force officers on Wednesday executed a search warrant at a 13th Avenue Northwest residence, according to information from the Mandan Police Department. The officers in addition to the meth found 300 fentanyl or counterfeit oxycodone pills, marijuana and THC wax, psychedelic mushrooms and drug paraphernalia.

Officers found an object “that appeared to be consistent with a pipe bomb” and “items consistent with the manufacture of explosive devices,” the department said. The Bismarck Bomb Squad and Minot Bomb Squad – which responded due to the size of the property and amount of contents – cleared the property before the drugs were seized, the department said.

Authorities found more than 30 weapons including a short barrel shotgun and some they said were an AK-47 style.

Mandan police in early March received a tip that there were hundreds and possibly thousands of illegal pills in the house, according to a police affidavit.

The Mandan Police Department, Morton County Sheriff’s Office, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, FBI, North Dakota National Guard, Mandan Fire Department, and Metro Area Ambulance Service assisted at the scene.

Smith was arrested at the residence, which police say he owns. Lelm was arrested a short time later at another location.

The men made their initial court appearances Friday. Attorneys aren't listed for them in court documents.

Reach Travis Svihovec at 701-250-8260 or


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