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Helicopter, K-9 unit track down suspects in high-speed chase near Twin Cities

North Branch, Minn. A K-9 unit, a helicopter and multiple police agencies were needed to track down three people who initially eluded Chisago County deputies early Saturday morning.

At about 2:30 a.m., a county deputy attempted to pull over a driver going 118 mph on Interstate 35 near North Branch, according to the Chisago County sheriff’s office.

The driver fled and the deputy pursued for over 3½ miles. The chase continued west onto Minnesota 95 and south onto 301st Avenue in North Branch Township of Isanti County.

The driver, Nile Jones-Vogt of Coon Rapids, stopped the vehicle and fled on foot with two passengers — Noelle Stockhausen, 20, of Minneapolis and Katelyn Gitzen, 19, of Coon Rapids. One passenger, a 20-year-old from Andover, stayed inside the vehicle.

Police called in the dogs and the helicopter as well as deputies from Chisago and Isanti counties and officers from North Branch and the Minnesota State Patrol.

Scanner chatter indicated that the suspects fled into some woods and one was caught hiding in a tree. Two gave themselves up when they were told there was a K-9 Unit present, said Sgt. Steve Pouti of the Chisago County Sheriff’s office. The third suspect was found by the Minnesota State Patrol using infrared technology.

According to a tweet by Chisago County, police asked the man who was hiding in the tree how high he was. The man misunderstood the question and answered, “I smoke a lot of weed so pretty high.”

Jones-Vogt was booked at the Chisago County Jail for fleeing police in a motor vehicle, a felony offense. He was also cited for fleeing police on foot, reckless driving and underage drinking and driving, all misdemeanor offenses.

Stockhausen was booked for underage consumption of alcohol and fleeing police on foot. Gitzen was booked for fleeing police on foot.

The unnamed passenger who stayed in the car was cited for misdemeanor drug possession and released.