Two men plead guilty after Brownsdale drug bust

Two men entered guilty pleas Monday in Mower County court in connection with a large drug bust in Brownsdale in January.

Eric Anthony Portillo, 33, of Rochester, pleaded guilty to a single count of felony third-degree drug possession, while another felony charge was dismissed. Robert William Wheeler, 23, of Waseca, Minn., pleaded guilty to a single count of felony fifth-degree drug possession.

The two are scheduled for sentencing in August.

Portillo and Wheeler were among eight people charged following the Jan. 13 raid, which occurred at 507 East Main St. in Brownsdale.

Deputies with the Mower County Sheriff’s Office, as well as officers with the Southeast Minnesota Narcotics and Gang Task Force, entered the residence at around 6:05 a.m. Several of the suspects were sleeping, but some were awake, including Portillo, who reportedly jumped through a window before being apprehended.

Inside the home, authorities found roughly 10.5 grams of methamphetamine in small plastic bags on the porch, and “a large quantity” of the drug was found in an office space, according to a criminal complaint.

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

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.

She added that authorities had been monitoring the house for several months before the search was executed. In all, 10 arrests were made, which included a juvenile. Two adult suspects who were arrested were already wanted on prior criminal warrants and do not face any drug charges stemming from the search.

Shane Thomas Rose, 33, of Brownsdale, received a 49-month term in the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud last month.

Two other women, 30-year-old Corina Amy Sanborn, of Spring Valley, Minn., and 23-year-old Christine Michelle LaCroix, of Rochester, have entered guilty pleas and await sentencing in June.