MANKATO — Drug charges against a Mankato defense attorney will be dismissed if he completes five years of probation.

Ryan Blair Magnus, 47, who has admitted to having a drug addiction, appeared in Blue Earth County District Court Thursday for a plea hearing and sentencing.

Magnus was charged with felony counts of drug sales and drug possession in February 2018. Methamphetamine, marijuana and hallucinogenic mushrooms were found in a house Magnus owned and shared with two other people, the charges said. The sales charge stemmed from the quantity found.

Magnus spent three days in jail after the drugs were discovered when the Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force searched the house.

In court Thursday Magnus admitted to possessing methamphetamine for personal use. He declined to make any further statement when invited by the judge.

Magnus told The Free Press last month he has “accepted responsibility” for his drug addiction and went to treatment.

A special prosecutor and judge were assigned to the case to avoid conflicts of interest, as Magnus practices in Blue Earth County. Steele County Attorney Daniel McIntosh prosecuted the case, and it was presided over by Judge Stephen Ferrazzano II, who is chambered in Watonwan County.

Ferrazzano approved a plea agreement reached between Magnus and McIntosh in July.

Magnus pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of fifth-degree drug possession and received a stay of adjudication with a sentence of five years probation and a $1,000 fine.

That means a conviction won’t go on his record and the charge will be dismissed if Magnus successfully completes probation and he either pays the fine or does community service to work it off.

Ferrazzano set the standard conditions of probation, including requiring Magnus to undergo a drug dependency evaluation and comply with the evaluator’s recommendations.

“Good luck to you,” Ferrazzano told Magnus after issuing the sentence. “I hope the treatment works and I hope you can get your life together.”

Magnus has continued to represent clients while the charges were pending. The stayed conviction does not preclude him from continuing to practice.

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Public safety and K-12 education reporter 507-344-6354

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