The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

March 10, 2014

Meth dealer sent to prison

Dealer arrested with wife in January 2013

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The larger sale that ended with the couple being arrested was originally set to take place in a mall parking lot, but Rodriguez-Martinez called the agent and said he had run out of gas east of Mankato. When the agent arrived at County Road 27 location, which is just east of Eagle Lake, Rodriguez-Martinez had hidden the 9 ounces methamphetamine in a nearby culvert. The drug was in a plastic bag inside a washing detergent box.

Rodriguez-Martinez had reached a plea deal in July but the deal was withdrawn by Assistant Blue Earth County Attorney Chris Rovney after Rodriguez-Martinez refused to implicate his wife. Rovney also filed a new criminal complaint including charges for the earlier sales.

On Jan. 7 Rodriguez-Martinez pleaded guilty to two felony counts of first-degree drug sales. He was sentenced Monday to 86 months in prison for the first count and 110 months for the second count, but Judge Bradley Walker set the sentences to be served concurrently. He will serve about two more years in prison than he would have with the first plea agreement. With a sentence reduction for good behavior and credit for the 426 days he has already served in jail, Rodriguez-Martinez could be released after about five years in prison.

Gonzalez pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree drug sales on Feb. 5. She is scheduled to be sentenced next week. Her plea agreement caps her sentence at 86 months, which means she could be released in about three years.

A third woman, whom investigators described as being younger after talking to her during a phone call, was not charged in Blue Earth County. Only Rodriguez-Martinez and Villa were in the vehicles that were used to make the methamphetamine deliveries.

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