Woman sentenced for drug possession

Published 3:29 pm Saturday, October 24, 2009

An Austin woman was sentenced to five years probation Friday for fifth degree drug possession.

Angelina Barnes, 37, was arrested on July 29, along with Bryan Douglas Battin, 43, following a search of their 120 Clinton St. home by the Southeast Minnesota Narcotics and Gang Task Force.

The force is made up of a number of regional police departments and sheriff’s offices.

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Barnes was home during the search; Battin was arrested at a nearby residence.

During the search, authorities, including Lt. Matt Holten of the Austin Police Department and his K-9 Ghost, found numerous bags containing meth residue in both an upstairs and downstairs bedroom, according to a court complaint.

More meth was found in the basement, and a scale was found in the main-floor bedroom.

Upstairs, authorities found a juvenile female, who is Barnes’ daughter. In the first-floor bedroom, Barnes was found with a 2-month-old grandchild, according to the complaint.

When questioned, Barnes said the meth and related paraphernalia belonged to Battin. She said she didn’t allow him to use it in the house or around the children.

A felony charge of storing methamphetamine paraphernalia in the presence of a child was dismissed.

Barnes said the two were behind with rent payments, so Battin had “been doing odd jobs” to make ends meet, according to the complaint, and the meth helped him stay awake. She said she didn’t know if he had been selling meth to help pay rent but did know there was a scale in the house.

Barnes initially said she had last smoked meth with Battin about a month ago, but later admitted to police she had used it the day before to get through work.

When Battin was arrested, he said “you guys damn well know (the drugs are) Angel’s,” a reference to Barnes.

The complaint states that Battin was evasive and vague when questioned, and he maintained that the drugs and paraphernalia belonged to Barnes.

Battin is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on Nov. 6.

His jury trial would then begin Nov. 16.