Waseca man pleads not guilty to drug charge

Published 7:05 am Friday, February 26, 2010

A Waseca man pleaded not guilty Thursday to a felony drug charge stemming from a large meth bust in Brownsdale last month.

William Robert Wheeler, 22, is set to appear again in Mower County court on April 16 for a pre-trial hearing on a single count of fifth-degree drug possession. His trial would then begin April 26.

Wheeler was among 10 people arrested and eight charged following a Jan. 13 search of 507 East Main St. That search uncovered a “large quantity” of methamphetamine, according to a criminal complaint, as well as drug paraphernalia and $880 cash.

During the early morning search, some of the residents were found sleeping, while a few were awake. Most went peacefully, although Eric Anthony Portillo, 33, of Rochester, attempted to evade authorities by jumping through a window, the complaint states. He was apprehended and now faces two felony drug charges.

Mower County Sheriff Terese Amazi said authorities had been monitoring the residence for a number of months. Despite the large amount of meth found in the home, the sheriff said it did not appear as if the drug was being manufactured on-site.