Suspect pleads not guilty to drug possession

Published 10:41 am Friday, June 10, 2016

Another suspect has pleaded not guilty after a search warrant uncovered drug paraphernalia.

Edward Gonzales Jr., 34, of Austin pleaded not guilty in Mower County court on Thursday to two counts of felony fifth-degree drug possession.

Melanie Lynn Penkava, 26, of Austin was charged with just one count of the same offense and pleaded not guilty on May 12.

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At about 8:09 a.m. on May 2, officers executed a search warrant on the 100 block of 13th Street Northeast. Gonzales, Penkava and another man were found in the apartment.

The following items were seized during the search:

• A piece of aluminum foil floating in the toilet

• Two Clonazepam pills in the bathroom

• A scale

• Several plastic bags containing heroin

• A plastic bag containing four unidentified pills

• Aluminum foil with a burned residue in Penkava’s backpack

• Four bindles of heroin (about .10 grams) in Penkava’s backpack

• A small amount of marijuana

• 31 unidentified pills

• Four cell phones

Gonzales claimed ownership of the clonazepam pills and admitted he did not have a prescription for it. He said the heroin belonged to Penkava, but he bought it for her. Penkava admitted to owning the heroin in her backpack.

Gonzales’s pre-trial is scheduled for Sept. 30 and the jury trial is scheduled for Oct. 10. Penkava’s pre-trial is scheduled for Sept. 16 and the jury trial is scheduled for Sept. 26.