Just out of prison, man pleads not guilty to new drug charges

Published 12:31 pm Saturday, March 13, 2010

An Austin man recently out of prison for a drug conviction pleaded not guilty to a host of new drug charges Thursday in Mower County court.

Chad Lee Morgan, 36, who previously spent six years in jail for possessing a large amount of methamphetamine, pleaded not guilty to separate counts of second-degree drug possession and sales. He also plead not guilty to one count of driving after cancellation and one count of possessing more than 1.4 grams of marijuana in a vehicle.

According to a criminal complaint, Morgan was pulled over on the evening of Feb. 26 for illegally tinted windows. The officer also recognized Morgan’s passenger, 26-year-old Joseph Troy Cunningham, as being in violation of his current probation.

When the officer approached the vehicle, he smelled a marijuana odor coming from inside. Morgan also told the cop that he didn’t have a valid license, the complaint states.

The officer checked Morgan’s driving status and noticed it was canceled. The two were both asked to exit the vehicle.

On Morgan, the officer found 9 grams of pot. While searching Cunningham, he found 8 grams of meth, as well as drug paraphernalia. Both men were arrested and taken to jail. Cunningham was tagged with two felony drug charges, both of which he pleaded not guilty to Thursday.

After the arrest, the car was searched and officers located more trace amounts of meth, as well as a digital scale, the complaint states.