Alleged meth dealer pleads not guilty

Published 11:02 am Friday, May 18, 2012

After allegedly selling more than 80 grams of methamphetamine to an informant, a man pleaded not guilty to felony drug charges Thursday in Mower County Court.

Joaquin Santiago-Estrada, 34, of Albert Lea, pleaded not guilty to first-degree drug sale of more than 10 grams of meth and first-degree drug possession of more than 25 grams of meth.

Officers arranged to meet with Santiago-Estrada on May 2 and purchase the meth from him for $1,600, according to the court complaint. They arrested him soon after he allegedly met with the officer at a storage unit, put 84.51 grams of meth in a bicycle helmet and exchanged it for the money.

Email newsletter signup

Santiago-Estrada showed officers a Mexico matricula card and also said he used the name Benjamin Agala Rios to rent the storage unit in Austin, according to the complaint.

Santiago-Estrada demands a speedy trial, and his next court date has not been set.