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Proudfoot facing weapons charges in Stevens County

MORRIS – An Appleton man arrested in Morris this month following a high-speed chase along Highway 28 is facing additional charges after law enforcement officers found weapons and a bullet-resistant vest they believe belong to him.

Joshua Proudfoot, 35, is facing an additional count of possession of a firearm after being convicted of a crime of violence and one count of committing a crime while wearing or possessing a bullet resistant vest.

Proudfoot appeared in Stevens County District Court on Friday for an initial appearance on these charges as well as a conditions of release violation hearing.

Stevens County Attorney Aaron Jordan told Judge Gerald Seibel that Proudfoot was picked up on Highway 59 near Morris after a 911 call reported that he was trying to jump out of a vehicle going 50 to 60 miles per hour on the highway.

When Proudfoot was brought in he tested positive for methamphetamine on three separate tests, Jordan said.

Jordan asked that Proudfoot’s bail be increase to $300,000 unconditional or $150,000 with conditions. He argued that Proudfoot “remains a danger” and could “hurt or possibly kill” someone. Jordan said Proudfoot is “nothing thinking clearly” and that “drugs have made him dangerous and unpredictable.”

Proudfoot’s attorney, Jeff Kuhn, said that a second drug test taken in Wheaton came up negative for methamphetamine and that his client questioned the validity of the test results. Kuhn also noted that Proudfoot passed a drug test earlier in the week.  

Pending a confirmation of the drug test results from a testing company, Seibel revoked Proudfoot’s previously set conditional bail of $25,000 an ordered he be held on the unconditional bail amount of $75,000.

If the drug test results come back negative for methamphetamine, Seibel ordered that Proudfoot’s bail be returned to the $25,000 amount.

Proudfoot was arrested in Morris on Wednesday, May 7 following a car chase on Highway 28. At the time law enforcement officers found a .38 special bullet near the driver’s seat and center console of the Chrysler Impala he had been fleeing in.

Officers also had information from an individual that Proudfoot had begun wearing a bullet resistant vest and carrying three handguns.

On Friday, May 9, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office search and rescue team came to Stevens County to search for a gun in two area sloughs that law enforcement officials believe Proudfoot, may have tossed from his vehicle during the pursuit. They did not find a weapon during the search.

A search of Proudfoot’s residence in rural Swift County on May 9 uncovered several empty boxes of handgun ammunition, .38 caliber bullets, 10 .40 caliber rounds, and instructions of installing a sight on a high-point pistol, among other evidence. Near the front door, officers found seven spent handgun casings, a plastic water jug with a bullet hole through it and a bullet lodges in a tree, the complaint states.

On Tuesday, May 13, law enforcement reviewed jail telephone calls between Proudfoot and his father. Information in the phone calls led officers to search his father’s residence and detached garage where they uncovered bags that contained a dark colored revolver and several different types of ammunition, the complaint states.

Officers also executed a search warrant at another residence where they found another vehicle that contained a bullet-resistant vest, a fully-loaded handgun and drug related items.

Proudfoot has three prior convictions for crimes of violence. He was convicted of burglary in the third degree in Stevens County in 2011, fifth degree possession in Pope County in 2009, and two separate counts of felony fourth degree assault in Stearns County in 2005.