Drug suspect strikes deal

Published 10:52 am Monday, May 27, 2013

An Austin man who led police to an alleged marijuana grow operation after he was turned in for assault struck a plea deal Friday in Mower County Court.

Alex Patrick Hernandez, 26, changed his plea to guilty on one charge of fifth-degree drug sale of a marijuana mixture, a felony. Charges for felony fifth degree drug possession, misdemeanor domestic assault and misdemeanor obstructing the legal process were dismissed.

Police reportedly found the grow operation when they responded to a domestic assault call at Hernandez’s home in the 500 block of Ninth Street Northwest on May 7, 2012. The officer went upstairs and found a broken window, a woman crying “hysterically,” according to the court complaint, and the smell of marijuana. Police then found Hernandez hiding in a crawl space behind a child’s bed, where they allegedly found marijuana plants, reflectors, lights and a heat source.

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The victim allegedly allowed Police to search the home, and they found marijuana growing materials, hydrocodone and a controlled substance. In the complaint, Hernandez admitted to the grow operation and said the victim knew nothing about it. He also admitted to not having a prescription for hydrocodone. However, Hernandez denied that he assaulted the victim.

Hernandez will be sentenced on Sept. 27.