Suspect pleads not guilty to meth charges

Published 10:26 am Friday, April 8, 2016

A woman who was found with nearly $45,000 worth of methamphetamine, other drugs and paraphernalia pleaded not guilty to five charges Thursday in Mower County court.



Bonnie Lee Sutton, 34, of Austin was charged with three subsequent drug felonies — two counts of first-degree drug crimes and fifth-degree drug possession — along with misdemeanors fourth-degree DWI and driving after revocation.

According to court records, Austin Police Officers were parked late Sunday near Austin’s Rodeway Inn & Suites, 805 21st St. NE, when they saw Sutton in a 2001 Oldsmobile Aurora leave the motel at about 11:34 p.m. She drove west on Interstate 90, drifting between the center line and fog line. They stopped her near West Oakland Avenue.

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When officers spoke with Sutton, her eyes had little reaction to light, she talked rapidly, and her hands were quick and fidgety as she searched for her documents.

Officers learned Sutton’s driving status was revoked, and she failed a balance test and three other sobriety tests, according to the court complaint.

Sutton said she borrowed the car from a friend, which was K-9 searched and officers reported a strong smell of marijuana from the car. No drugs were in the cabin of the car, but police found 28.5 grams of meth beneath the gas cover.

The passenger of the vehicle told police he saw Sutton take about “a half ounce of meth” and place it in or near the trunk of the car, and he said there was about three-quarters of a pound of meth still in the motel room.

At the motel, police found 422 grams — nearly a pound — of meth in a black sock, a digital scale and 5 grams of marijuana. Officers also found small bag containing 0.11 grams of cocaine in her coat pocket and a meth pipe at the jail.

Austin Police Chief Brian Krueger previously said the street value of the meth was estimated at about $45,000.

Sutton’s next court appearance is scheduled for April 21.