Man sentenced to five-years probation after being arrested in drug bust

Published 9:55 am Saturday, February 27, 2010

An Austin man arrested last summer during a multi-agency drug bust in town was sentenced to five-years probation and community service Friday.

Michael Joseph Vasquez, 18, will also be required to avoid bars, liquor stores and house parties serving alcohol as part of his probation, Judge Donald Rysavy ordered.

On Aug. 6, the Southeast Minnesota Narcotics and Gang Task Force, a unit composed of various police departments and sheriff’s offices in the region, searched Vasquez’s 710 10th Ave. SW home.

According to a court complaint, officers found two pounds of marijuana in an upstairs bed room, plus numerous other small bags throughout the house and garage. Two digital scales were also seized in the kitchen.

Vasquez and a few other people were home during the search. When questioned later, Vasquez said the drugs belonged to him and that he had bought them for $400.

Former Austin police chief Paul Philipp said previously that Vasquez had been a suspected drug dealer, which led to the task force’s search.