MANKATO — Three people have been arrested in a month-long drug sting where an informant allegedly bought cocaine in the YMCA parking lot and other Mankato locations.
Two of the people arrested, a rural Blue Earth County couple, were taken into custody Wednesday while they were returning from a possible drug deal in the Twin Cities. Agents with the Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force had secretly placed a GPS tracking device on their vehicle and decided to stop 39-year-old Brandon Lee Hensley and 30-year-old Sook Ja Nam north of St. Peter on Highway 169.
Hensley was arrested and taken to the Blue Earth County Jail. Nam was also taken to the Justice Center, but kept in an interview room until a task force agent could talk to her because she had a child with her, according to criminal complaints filed Friday.
When the agent arrived, a female Mankato police officer told him Nam had turned over a bag of cocaine that weighed about a half ounce. The officer and a jailer were about to interview Nam when Nam removed the bag from her pants, the Mankato officer reported.
An informant working with the task force had been buying cocaine from Hensley and another man, 33-year-old Miguel Antonio Lemus of Mankato, since Jan. 2, the complaints said. More than a half ounce of the drug was allegedly purchased during five separate transactions that spanned through Tuesday. The informant would contact Lemus for the cocaine buys, which were generally about 3 to 4 grams for $200 each, then Lemus would call Hensley to supply the drug, the complaints said.
The first deal took place in the YMCA parking lot. Then there were two sales made at the Shell gas station on the north edge of Mankato on Third Avenue and one sale made at Lemus’ residence in the 1400 block of North Fourth Street.