Man pleads guilty to selling drugs in a school zone; Other drug charges to be dropped
Published 8:09 am Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Michael Jonathan Vela, 31, of Owatonna pled guilty to felony second-degree drug sales methamphetamine or amphetamine in a school/park/public housing zone as part of a plea agreement on Friday in Mower County District Court. He initially pleaded not guilty on Aug. 28, 2017.
Two additional charges of felony second-degree drug sales methamphetamine or amphetamine in a school/park/public housing zone and felony aggravated first-degree drug sales of 10 grams or more of cocaine or methamphetamine will be dismissed at the sentencing.
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According to the court complaint, an Austin narcotics detective and an investigator with the Southeast Minnesota Violent Crime Enforcement Team met with an informant on May 1, 2 and 10 of 2017 and arranged methamphetamine purchases from Vela on those dates. The informant was equipped with buy money and an audio transmitter and his vehicle was searched before each transaction.
Two of the sales took place at Vela’s residence in the 700 block of Seventh Street Northwest, while the other sale took place in the 700 block of Eighth Avenue Northwest, half a block east of Sumner Elementary School, the complaint said.
A review of Vela’s criminal history shows prior convictions for disorderly conduct, assault, drug possession and violation of a harassment restraining order. He is still awaiting a hearing on a charge of felony fifth-degree drug possession, to which he has pled not guilty.
Vela will be sentenced on Jan. 17.