Woman arrested in drug raid pleads guilty

Published 7:01 am Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Rochester woman arrested during a recent Brownsdale drug raid pleaded guilty to felony drug possession Monday — and also agreed to testify against co-defendants in the case.

Christine Michelle LaCroix, 23, is scheduled for sentencing on June 11. LaCroix was one of 10 people arrested after authorities searched a home at 507 East Main St. on Jan. 13 at around 6 a.m.

According to reports, a number of the people inside the home were asleep when officers entered, but one man, 33-year-old Eric Anthony Portillo of Rochester, attempted to flee by diving through a first-floor window.

He was quickly apprehended and later charged with two felony drug crimes. Portillo pleaded not guilty on both counts Monday.

Also arrested and charged were Cory James Papka, 39, of Kasson, Minn., and Shane Thomas Rose, 32, of Brownsdale, who both pleaded not guilty Thursday to first-degree drug sales and second-degree drug possession, both felonies, as well as a third felony count each of keeping methamphetamine paraphernalia around children.

A juvenile was arrested and charged in the case.

Corina Amy Sanborn, 29, of Spring Valley, Minn., pleaded not guilty to fifth-degree felony drug possession as well as a lesser criminal count Thursday. She is scheduled for an April 16 pre-trial hearing.

Robert William Wheeler, 22, of Waseca, Minn., also appeared in court Thursday, but he only applied for a public defender and did not enter a plea.

Another individual, Savanah Marie Rhodes, 20, of Stillwater, Minn., failed to appear Thursday and will likely be arrested on a bench warrant.

Two other men arrested during the raid — 24-year-old Brand Ingalls and 25-year-old Kyle David Magyar — were already wanted on prior criminal warrants and do not face any drug charges stemming from the search.

During the search, officers from the Mower County Sheriff’s Department and the Southeast Minnesota Drug Taskforce found scattered needles and a scale, as well as a small marijuana growing station, according to records.

About 10.5 grams of methamphetamine were also found in small plastic bags on the porch and “a large quantity” of the drug was found in an office space.

Mower County Sheriff Terese Amazi said there were signs that all the defendants were using and selling meth, but there were no signs the drug was being manufactured in the home.

A lock box in the living room contained drug paraphernalia, $880 in cash and a crib sheet that appeared related to debts owed for drugs, according to records.

Amazi said authorities had been monitoring the house for several months.