Local drug dealer gets four years in prison

Published 6:45 pm Saturday, May 5, 2012

An Austin man who sold drugs to a confidential informant last August was sentenced Friday to four years in prison.

Joel Robert Nelson, 57, was convicted of second-degree drug sales of narcotics, a felony.

According to court documents, Nelson sold Oxycontin to the confidential informant on at least three occasions between August and October of 2011. The informant told police detectives in August that Nelson got about 380 pills a month through a Veterans Administration prescription. Nelson and the informant completed drug transactions at Jellystone Campground twice; the first time, the informant bought 20 pills for $400, and the second time he bought 100 pills at $15 per pill. Another transaction occurred at the Twin Towers, where Nelson lived. The informant bought 100 pills in that transaction, too, according to court documents.

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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, 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.