Man facing drug charges allegedly sold to informant

Published 8:26 am Thursday, August 17, 2017

A man who allegedly sold methamphetamine to a police informant three times was charged in Mower County District Court on Tuesday.

Michael Jonathan Vela, 30

Michael Jonathan Vela, 30, of Austin was charged with felony aggravated first-degree drug sales of 10 grams or more of cocaine or methamphetamine and three counts of second-degree drug sales of methamphetamine or amphetamine in a school/park/public housing zone.

According to the court report, an Austin police officer and an investigator of the Southeast Minnesota Violent Crime Enforcement Team met with an informant on May 1, 2 and 10 about arranging drug purchases from Vela.

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On May 1, the informant drove to a residence in the 700 block of Seventh Street Northwest where Vela was staying. He purchased 3.13 grams of meth, then met with the police at a designated spot and gave them the drugs.

On May 2, Vela told the informant he needed to contact his “source.” Vela later contacted the informant, who drove him to Bandshell Community Park. Vela met with an unknown man at the park and then had the informant drive him back to the residence at Seventh Street Northwest. The informant then met the police again, turning over 3.5 grams of meth.

On May 10, Vela told the informant he would send someone else to make the transaction. The informant drove to the 700 block of Eighth Avenue Northwest, half a block east of Sumner Elementary School, and picked up a man. He then drove the man to the residence on Seventh Street Northwest, where he exited the vehicle. The informant then met with police and turned over 0.81 grams of meth, telling them the man “didn’t have all the meth.”

Vela contacted the informant 20 minutes later and the informant met the man at the same place as before and again drove him back to the residence on Seventh Street Northwest. The informant turned over 2.91 grams of meth to the police.

The informant was equipped with buy money and an audio transmitter and his vehicle was searched before each transaction.

Vela was convicted of a first-degree drug crime in Mower County in October 2008. He is scheduled to appear in court again on Aug. 28.