Man pleads not guilty to selling Oxycontin

Published 6:10 am Monday, October 31, 2011

An Austin man accused of selling more than 200 Oxycontin pills to a confidential informant pleaded not guilty to three felony drug crimes Thursday in Mower County District Court.

Joel Robert Nelson, 57, entered the not guilty plea two counts of first-degree drug sales and one count of first-degree possession of 500 or more doses.

Court documents allege that Nelson sold Oxycontin to the informant on at least three occasions between August and October.

Email newsletter signup

The informant told police detectives in August that Nelson gets about 380 pills a month through a Veterans Administration prescription. Nelson and the informant allegedly completed drug transactions at Jellystone Campground twice; the first time, the informant reportedly bought 20 pills for $400, and the second time he bought 100 pills at $15 per pill.

Another transaction allegedly occurred at the Twin Towers, where Nelson lives. The informant bought 100 pills in that transaction, too, according to court documents.

An undercover officer accompanied the informant on two of the transactions.

Police arrested Nelson at his camper at Jellystone in early October. According to the court complaint, police seized almost $3,000 total, a handgun, more than 700 Oxycontin pills, nearly four grams of marijuana and paraphernalia and a .22 caliber boot pistol and ammunition in Nelson’s camper.

Nelson initially denied selling the pills. Eventually he said he had “given” the pills to a friend, according to a court complaint. He admitted to giving the pills to people in exchange for money, but never specifically admitted to “selling” the pills, according to court documents.

Nelson is scheduled to appear in court for a pre-trial on Jan. 20, 2012.