Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

I-80 emergency leads to methamphetamine arrests


The Kimball County Ambulance was called out on the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 20, to assist a woman who had called 911 believing that she was suffering from a diabetic episode.

Kati D. Groll of Shelby County, Iowa, made the call to the Kimball County Dispatch at 8:26 a.m. During the phone call to dispatch, the Sheriff’s department’s dispatcher noted that there was a man yelling at the woman in the background.

Both the Kimball County Ambulance, along with the Dix First Responders were paged to assist. Although they were paged on two separate occasions first responders out of Dix never responded to the call.

Upon arriving at the scene, the eastbound off ramp in Dix on Interstate 80, the Kimball ambulance crew determined that Groll’s blood sugar was within normal range. Groll then admitted to the crew that she had used methamphetamine the previous day.

Groll was transported via Kimball County Ambulance to the Kimball Health Services emergency room.

The vehicles second occupant, Michael J. Degraw of Scottsbluff, followed in the 2001 Ford Ranger.

Kimball Police Chief Darren Huff was dispatched to the Kimball Health Services emergency room to assist due to the suspicions of the ambulance crew that both were under the influence of narcotics.

Because the incident occurred outside of the City of Kimball, Huff requested assistance from the Nebraska State Patrol as well.

According to an arrest affidavit, Huff surmised Degraw was under the influence due to his behavior while in the hospital’s waiting room area. He reported that Degraw was “extremely talkative, very edgy, could not stay still” and that “his lower jaw was moving side to side as he communicated with the tech at the nurse’s station.”

Huff located the Groll vehicle outside the hospital and called Kimball Police Captain Andrew Bremer in with the K9 to examine the vehicle. Xana made a positive alert to the passenger side door of the vehicle.

Bremer and Huff located Degraw in the emergency waiting room and requested that he accompany them to the vehicle outside. They informed Degraw that Xana’s positive hit on the vehicle gave them probable cause to search the vehicle.

At that point Degraw admitted to the officers that he had an I.V. drug kit, methamphetamine and a glass pipe in the vehicle. He admitted that he and Groll had purchased “high quality” methamphetamine in Wyoming.

Upon searching the vehicle, the officers found the items Degraw described and an undeclared glass pipe on the floorboard of the passenger side vehicle.

Bremer took Degraw into custody and transported him to the Kimball County jail to be charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. The vehicle was then towed to another location where it could be further examined for evidence.

Huff informed Groll that Degraw had been taken into custody and that her vehicle was impounded for further search.

He questioned if she was aware of any other controlled substances that could be located in her vehicle.

Groll stated a second drug kit was located under the driver’s seat wrapped in black duct tape

The second kit was located and found to contain plastic tubing and a large piece of crystal meth.

Other items found in the vehicle include a portable propane fuel torch and bottle, syringes, drug needles, glass pipes and an open bottle of whiskey.

Upon release from the emergency room, Groll was placed under arrest and transferred to the Kimball County jail.


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