Austin man gets 5 years probation for drugs in park zone

Published 10:20 am Friday, November 5, 2010

An Austin man who was arrested in June for possessing drugs in a park zone was sentenced to one year and one day in prison, which will be stayed and served as five years probation, Thursday in Mower County court.

Eliseo Abel Munoz, 22, was found guilty of fifth-degree drug possession and possessing drugs in the presence of a child.

According to a criminal complaint, a raid was executed in June at Munoz’s home, 500 Seventh Avenue Southeast, which is near Driesner Park.

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Members of the Austin Police Department, the Mower County Sheriff’s Office, and the Southeast Minnesota Narcotics and Gang Taskforce breached the front door with a battering ram. Inside, they found Munoz and a 14-year-old male in a downstairs bedroom, the complaint states.

The 14-year-old allegedly had a small bag of marijuana in his pocket, as well as a few .22-caliber shells. Other rounds of ammunition, including some expended shells, were found in the room, along with a .22-caliber rifle and a 20-gauge shotgun hidden between Munoz’s mattress and box spring, the complaint states. Authorities also found several pieces of drug paraphernalia in the room.

In a garage, members of the search team found two other teenagers, ages 15 and 14, who were sleeping. One of the two had a 2-gram bag of marijuana in his hand, the complaint states. On a nearby table, authorities located a light bulb that tested positive for methamphetamine, as well a marijuana bong.

After his arrest, Munoz admitted to police that he uses marijuana and meth, the complaint states, though he denied selling either. He also said that most of the drug paraphernalia found in the residence was his.

The defendant added that he was “holding” the guns for a friend, the complaint states. He said the shells that were found belonged to a .22-caliber revolver, which he had sold a week earlier.

While on probation, Munoz must complete a chemical evaluation, abstain from alcohol and controlled substances, must not enter bars or liquor stores and must not possess or use firearms. He was also charged a $500 fine and must complete 80 community service hours.

Mike Rose contributed to this report