Meth sale leads to prison for Austin man

Published 12:36 pm Saturday, June 7, 2008

An Austin man was sentenced to 58 months in prison in Mower County District Court Thursday for sale of methamphetamine to a confidential informant in 2006.

Abel Negrin was convicted of second-degree controlled substance crime as part of a plea agreement with Mower County prosecutors. A first-degree charge was dismissed.

According to the criminal complaint, Negrin was recorded selling more than one ounce of cocaine to a confidential police informant Jan. 25, 2006.

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“It should be noted that the probation agent found no mitigating factors that would merit downward departure,” Mower County prosecutor Eric Herendeen said, regarding the sentence.

Attorney Julie Maxwell disagreed, saying that Negrin has made positive steps toward sobriety, including acceptance into the Teen Challenge drug treatment program.

“Mr. Negrin is getting to work on his chemical dependency issues, and turning his life around,” Maxwell said.

Negrin concurred.

“I’m 45 years old, and I’m doing the best I can to better my life,” he said.

Wellmann, however, ordered Negrin to serve prison time. He noted several factors in his decision, including the year it took to apprehend Negrin after his charges were filed, his prior convictions, probation violations and the first-degree drug charge removed through plea agreement in this case.