Man facing prison time for drugs

Published 10:15 am Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A California man may face 48 months in prison after reaching a plea agreement Monday in Mower County District Court.

Fabian Edgardo Velez Ramirez, 41, pleaded guilty to a single felony count of second-degree drug crime, a reduction from his original first-degree charge.

According to court records, Ramirez may receive a 48-month prison sentence, though will have the opportunity seek less time during an Oct. 23 court appearance.

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The criminal complaint said Ramirez mailed one ounce of methamphetamine to a confidential police informant working with local officials and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

The informant initially asked Ramirez to drive the drugs from California to Minnesota, even sending him $1,000 to fix his tires in exchange for one pound of meth.

Ultimately, however, Ramirez mailed one ounce of meth via Federal Express in exchange for half of the payment up front. Police had to persuade Western Union to release funds to the defendant, who was on a security list, the complaint said.

On July 1, 2005, the informant received 22.8 grams of meth.

Court records say that bail was set at $250,000 or $50,000 with conditions that include a global-positioning system and electronic home monitoring. He must also abstain from drugs and alcohol and follow several other terms set by the court.