Man caught with meth, Taser sentenced in Mower County court

Published 7:01 am Monday, July 5, 2010

An Austin man who had drugs and a prohibited weapon in his car during a March traffic stop was sentenced Friday in Mower County court.

Jared Thomas Freese, 29, will be placed on five years probation for the offense. If he violates probation, he will be sent to jail for 15 months.

According to a criminal complaint, Freese was pulled over at around 1 a.m. on March 6 when an officer noticed he did not have a front license plate. Freese told the officer he knew the plate was missing, claiming he had just purchased the car and was in the process of transferring the title.

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While speaking with Freese, the officer noticed what was later determined to be a Taser on the dashboard. Given his two previous felony drug convictions, it is illegal for Freese to have such a weapon.

Eventually, Freese was asked to step out of the vehicle, and the Taser and a baseball bat on the vehicle’s floor were both secured for officer safety, the complaint states. While being removed from the vehicle, Freese was uncooperative and the officer had to forcibly handcuff him.

Freese was patted down and the officer found a little more than 0.7 grams of methamphetamine in his coat pocket, the complaint states. Several meth pipes were also found in the vehicle’s door.

A passenger, 29-year-old Philip Jason Anderson, also of Austin, was also asked to step out of the vehicle. Upon doing so, an open beer bottle fell to the ground, and Anderson admitted he had been drinking while in the car. He was patted down and also had meth pipes and trace amounts of the drug in his pocket, the complaint states. Anderson was later charged with a single count of fifth-degree drug possession.

A third male passenger, 26, was patted down and allowed to go home.

The two other passengers were taken to jail and the vehicle was more thoroughly searched. Inside, officers found additional drug paraphernalia, including a digital scale that had a small amount of marijuana on it.

Police also found a large collection of electronic equipment, including laptops and cell phones, as well as a backpack that contained nearly 5 grams of cocaine.

Freese has a lengthy criminal history, including felony drug convictions in 2001 and 2005, an assault conviction in 2003, and several other traffic violations.