Ausin man gets probation for possessing firearm

Published 6:51 am Tuesday, March 16, 2010

An Austin man convicted of possessing a firearm with an altered serial number was sentenced to five years of supervised probation Friday.

Gilbert Pineda, 45, pleaded guilty to the felony in January. As a part of his probation Pineda cannot possess or use firearms or dangerous weapons, use alcohol or controlled substances, and he will undergo chemical dependency evaluation and treatment.

As part of Pineda’s 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.