The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

July 18, 2013

One of 3 busted in 2012 coke sting sent to prison

Two accomplices received stayed prison sentences

MANKATO — A series of drug deals that spanned from February through June 2012 has resulted in a prison sentence for one of three people charged as a result of Mankato drug sting.

James Arthur Mallett Jr., 29, of Brooklyn Park was sentenced to four years in prison this week by District Court Judge Bradley Walker. With credit for good time and the 429 days he has already served in jail, he could be released in about 18 months.

He was charged after an accomplice, 31-year-old Donny Emery-Lee Lawson, was arrested after a police chase through the River Hills Mall parking lot, along Highway 22 and on Highway 14. Lawson had sold cocaine to an undercover agent with the Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force. The chase reached speeds of 50 mph through the parking lot and on Highway 22, and 100 mph on Highway 14.

That June 4, 2012, drug sale was one of several during a sting that started about four months earlier. Mallett, Lawson and 24-year-old Ciera Marie Manning of Brooklyn Park pleaded guilty to being involved in the sales, which added up to about 3 grams of cocaine being sold for $480.

Another 15 grams of cocaine, which equals more than half an ounce, was recovered after the Lawson chase. Investigators found 13 small bags of cocaine in his car and another 21 small bags of cocaine that had been tossed on to Highway 22 during the chase.

Manning had a 21-month prison sentence stayed by Walker when she was sentenced in April. She was ordered to serve 120 days in jail and pay a $3,000 fine as conditions of her 10 years on probation.

Lawson was sentenced to 86 months in prison by District Court Judge Krista Jass in March, a sentence that also was stayed for 10 years. He was ordered to serve three days in jail and pay a $2,000 fine as conditions of his probation. He also was ordered to attend college or work a minimum of 40 hours per week.

Mallett had been released from prison four months before the first sale was made to an undercover officer in Mankato. He had served more than two years for a crime involving a firearm.

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