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Austin man sentenced following raid of his business

A 33-year-old Austin man was sentenced to a stayed prison sentence Friday for stolen shotguns and methamphetamine that was seized from his business during a police search last November.

John Herbert Merten was slapped with concurrent sentences for one count of felony drug possession and one count of receiving stolen property, also a felony. The drug charge carries a 10-year probation term, with a one-year prison stay looming if he violates probation.

On the other count, Merten was sentenced to 20-years probation and a 18-month stayed prison term, which will run concurrently with his other penalty.

According to a criminal complaint, police searched Merten’s 1117 Fifth Place SE residence on the morning of Nov. 11. Inside the residence, which also housed his business, Alterior Motives, police found drug paraphernalia, 2.3 grams of meth, and the missing guns and their cases.

Authorities also seized two cell phones and $86 cash during the raid, the complaint states. Merten was arrested during the search but later released.

Police determined that the shotguns had all been stolen during a recent burglary, although specifics of that incident were not given in the complaint.

According to records, Merten has a previous felony conviction for fifth-degree drug crime from 2008 in Mower County.