21-year-old pleads not guilty to cocaine charge

Published 10:00 am Friday, November 11, 2011

A 21-year-old Austin man who is on probation for a drug crime pleaded not guilty on Thursday to possessing 30 grams of cocaine.

LeVerne Michael Altenburg Jr. pleaded not guilty to one count first-degree drug possession in Mower County District Court. He is serving a five-year probation sentence for a fifth-degree drug offense stemming from 2010, according to court documents.

Police searched Altenburg’s home in the 900 block of 12th Avenue SE on Nov. 1 looking for stolen property, a court complaint states. During the search, officers located a safe that contained drug paraphernalia, what appeared to be synthetic marijuana and 30 grams of cocaine, according to the complaint.

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When Altenburg was arrested, he requested a lawyer and reportedly told police: “That’s not cocaine. It’s Epsom salt.”

The detective told Altenburg the powdery substance tested positive for cocaine and Altenburg allegedly replied that he bought it at GNC, according to the complaint.

Altenburg is scheduled for a jury trial beginning Jan. 9, 2012.