The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

July 4, 2013

Plea deal pulled after suspect refused to implicate wife

Accused meth dealer could face additional charges at trial


They had initially planned to meet the agent at the mall again. But the officers following Villa reported she turned north on Blue Earth County Road 27, just east of Eagle Lake, and pulled over to the side of the road. Rivera then got out of the van, opened its hood and took a dog for a walk in a ditch.

An informant the BCA agent was using to translate calls with Rivera reported that Rivera had called and said he was out of gas. Rivera asked the informant to send the agent out to them to help them get fuel.

Once the agent arrived, Rviera walked him down to a culvert in the ditch and handed him a laundry detergent box. A plastic bag inside the box contained about nine ounces of a white powder that tested positive for methamphetamine, the criminal complaint said. Another half ounce of the drug was allegedly found when the couple’s house was searched by Austin authorities after their arrest.

Villa is currently scheduled to go to trial July 24 for two felony counts of first-degree drug sales and two felony counts of first-degree drug possession. However, Rovney said she could also face additional charges before the trial starts.

A request to allow Villa to be released from jail until the trial was denied by District Court Judge Gregory Anderson. In the motion, Villa’s former attorney, Tracy Bains, argued that prosecutors didn’t have enough evidence for a conviction. Villa is now represented by Manuel Guerrero

“There is no evidence alleged that Ms. Villa participated in any direct or actual drug sales or that she possessed any controlled substances,” Bains said in her written motion.

Rivera’s trial is scheduled to start Sept. 10. Both trials are scheduled to last three or four days.

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