The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

May 11, 2014

Husband's plea keeps wife out of court

Husband will serve about three extra years in prison

MANKATO — A Mankato man who admitted to selling a large amount of cocaine last summer has reached a plea deal that will send him to prison for up to 10 years, which is three more years than recommended by sentencing guidelines.

In exchange for the plea, similar charges that had been filed against Paul Douglas Lundgren’s wife will be dismissed.

Lundgren, 40, was arrested by Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force agents after he sold a total of about a half ounce of cocaine to an informant for $1,500 in marked bills. The agents reported the cocaine was bought during three different sales.

When Lundgren’s house was searched, investigators found another ounce of cocaine, about $10,000 in cash and handguns. The guns were easily accessible by children living in the house, the criminal complaint said.

Lundgren was offered a plea deal earlier this year by Assistant Blue Earth County Attorney Chris Rovney. The plea deal would have required the long sentence and Rovney told Lungren at that time that he wouldn’t pursue conspiracy charges against Lundgren’s wife, Dana Lee Lundgren, 31.

When Paul Lundgren didn’t take the deal, Dana Lundgren was charged. The complaint against her said a woman had come forward who claimed she used to make arrangements with Dana Lundgren to buy cocaine from Paul Lundgren.

“This case is still actively under investigation because he sold cocaine to a lot of people,” Rovney said after Dana Lundgren was charged. “We had a lot of people tell us she was also involved.”

Paul Lundgren’s attorney at the time, Chris Rosengren, said charging Dana Lundgren was a “strong arm” tactic to get a plea deal. Dana Lundgren was pregnant with twins when she was charged and has since given birth to them.

Rosengren also described the new witness as a “former junkie.”

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