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Drug suspects plead not guilty

Three Austin men involved in a recent drug raid all pleaded not guilty to multiple criminal charges Thursday in Mower County court.

Marcelino Delangel, 38, Jesse Lynn Devriendt, 30, and Juan Irlas, 37, are all scheduled to appear again in Mower County court on June 25 for pre-trial hearings. At that point, they can maintain their not-guilty pleas and go forward with trials or amend their pleas as part of plea agreements.

The police search in question occurred March 9. According to a criminal complaint, a confidential informant notified the Austin Police Department that he was set up to make a drug deal with Devriendt that night.

Police wired the informant and followed him to Devriendt’s 811 Third St. NW home. After the informant entered the property, another man, later identified to be Delangel, was seen leaving the residence in vehicle.

He allegedly returned with roughly 4 grams of meth to sell to the informant for $400. As part of the deal, Devriendt allegedly took some of the narcotic as “payment.” He also notified the informant that he facilitated deals for Delangel as a way to repay him for meth he purchased previously.

Devriendt and Irlas, who allegedly entered the property with Delangel and helped facilitate the deal, were arrested April 6 following an early-morning police raid of Devriendt’s residence. The two were charged with several counts of second- and third-degree drug possession and sales. In addition, the two both face charges for illegal weapons possession, as they each have previously been convicted of felonies, prohibiting them from owning a stun gun or brass knuckles — both of which were found during the search.

Also, because the property that was searched — 811 Third St. NW — is within 300 feet of Pickett Place, the two also face felony charges for selling narcotics in a public housing zone.

Delangel faces the same drug charges, but also faces a charge of fleeing from a police officer in a motor vehicle, a felony, and driving after cancellation, a gross misdemeanor. Those charges stem from a police chase on the night of April 7.

According to a police report, the chase began in the 1800 block of Oakland Avenue West at around 11:10 p.m. Wednesday. An officer on patrol spotted Delangel — who had been wanted by police since February for violating his probation on a previous drugs and firearm conviction — and initiated his siren.

Delangel, who had an 18-year-old female passenger in the car, turned south on 12th Street and sped away at about 50 mph. Two Austin squad cars pursued Delangel, who next turned west on County Road 4 toward Freeborn County. While on County Road 4, he threw a large amount of a white substance out of his car, which hit the front windshield of a squad car, the report states. The substance later tested positive as meth.

Delangel also allegedly tossed a black object from his car during the chase, which authorities believe was a pistol. However, the object has yet to be recovered, according to a criminal complaint.

Austin police notified the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office that the suspect was headed their way, so Freeborn deputies deployed “stop sticks.” Delangel drove over some on 870th Avenue at County Road 1 in Freeborn County, popping all four of his tires. He continued on to 873rd Avenue but stopped his vehicle there, the report states.

Officers arrested Delangel and the female passenger at gunpoint without incident. Delangel was taken to jail, while the woman was later released.

After the arrest, officers checked Delangel’s vehicle, which is when they located the syringe and a glass pipe that tested positive for meth inside a flashlight case.

Delangel was charged with a separate count of fifth-degree drug possession following the chase and his arrest.