Felon caught with 2 pounds of pot after high-speed chase

By Tim Ruzek

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

Nearly two pounds of marijauna, more than $2,000 in cash and a handheld police scanner tuned to Mower County law-enforcement channels.

That’s what Kainun James Thorson, a convicted felon from Grand Meadow, allegedly had in a bag Tuesday night as he ran from another man’s car near Elkton following a police chase.

With the help of three Elkton citizens, Grand Meadow Police Chief Jim Richardson arrested Thorson in the small town in central Mower County.


Thorson, 22, is facing felony charges in Mower District Court, including two counts of fifth-degree drug crime and one count of possession of a police radio during the commission of a crime. One drug count alleges that Thorson intended to sell the marijuana.

Chad Alan Solberg, 23, of Spring Valley, allegedly was Thorson’s driver and faces single felony counts of fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, aid an offender to avoid arrest and aiding and abetting the possession of a police radio during the commission of a crime.

Both men were expected to appear in court this morning.

According to the criminal complaint, Chief Richardson was driving around 8:25 p.m. when he saw a vehicle with a loud exhaust. As the chief turned his squad car around, the suspect car sped away, traveling 60 to 70 mph along 210th Street.

When the car eventually slowed at a stop sign at County Road 7, Richardson pulled along side the car and told the driver, Solberg, not to move. In the passenger seat, Thorson allegedly opened his door and rolled into a steep ditch.

Solberg allegedly gave the officer the a false name for Thorson, who fled on foot on the south side of Elkton.

After taking Solberg’s car keys, Richardson pursued Thorson by driving across a field where he was running near grain elevators, the complaint says. Thorson stopped at one point and was ordered to the ground but then ran again and jumped over a fence.

Three citizens helped Richardson find Thorson on Main Street in Elkton where Thorson allegedly was looking for keys in parked cars. Thorson ran north but three citizens aided Richardson in apprehending him.


Thorson’s bag contained two plastic bags with 444 grams and 416 grams of marijuana along with a police scanner and roll of cash, the complaint says.

In a police interview, Thorson said Solberg didn’t know about the marijuana.

In March 2004, Thorson was sentenced to three years in prison after being convicted of second-degree burglary, third-degree burglary and fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle. He stole a gun and other items in October 2002 from a Grand Meadow home and was involved in September 2003 with robbing Cheers Bar in Waltham.

Thorson’s sentence included two gross misdemeanor fourth-degree assault convictions for May 2003 incidents with Austin and Grand Meadow police.

In February 2005, Thorson got a concurrent sentence after pleading guilty to felony aiding and abetting a third-degree burglary in relation to stealing more than $2,000 worth of cash and silver coins in May 2003 from a Grand Meadow business.

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