Austin man pleads guilty to firearm possession

Published 7:26 am Tuesday, January 12, 2010

An Austin man pleaded guilty Monday to possessing a firearm with an altered serial number after authorities found the weapon during a search of his home in August.

Gilbert Pineda, 45, awaits sentencing March 12. As part of his plea, a felony drug charge and a separate felony firearm charge were dropped.

According to a court complaint, Pineda’s home was searched Aug. 28 by members of the Austin Police Department and the Southeast Minnesota Narcotics and Gang Task Force, which is composed of various local sheriff’s offices and police departments.

Pineda was home, along with a 33-year old woman and three children, ages 7, 9 and 16, during the search.

When told his house was being searched for drugs, Pineda told authorities that “everything” would be in a cigar box under his bed.

Authorities found 24 grams of marijuana in the box, but also found another 28 grams in a cabinet.

A shotgun with a scratched off serial number was also recovered.

Authorities looked through Pineda’s text-message history on his phone and found a number of messages related to drug trafficking.

Pineda was previously convicted of a felony drug charge in 1990 in Steele County, the complaint notes.