Two arrested on DWI, drug charges

Published 9:17 am Saturday, January 19, 2019

Michael Phathaem, 34, of Austin was charged on Friday in Mower County District Court with felony first-degree drugs-possess 100 grams or more of methamphetamine, felony fifth-degree drug possession, gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI-under the influence of a controlled substance, misdemeanor driving after revocation and petty misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Rocky Phathaem

Rocky Don Phathaem, 30, of Austin was charged with felony third-degree drugs-possess 10 grams or more of a narcotic drug other than heroin, felony fifth-degree drug possession, gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI-refuse to submit to chemical test of blood or urine as required by search warrant, gross misdemeanor giving false name to peace officer, misdemeanor fourth-degree DWI-under the influence of a controlled substance and misdemeanor driving after revocation.

According to one court complaint, a Minnesota State trooper was on patrol at 10:03 p.m. on Thursday in Austin when he spotted a 2006 Toyota Camry driving north on Eighth Street Northeast that had no light illuminating the rear license plate. The trooper initiated a traffic stop near the 900 block of Fourth Avenue Northeast and asked the driver, later identified as Rocky Phathaem, for his license. Rocky said he did not have his license and identified himself as “Anthony Ron Kahaoone” with a date of birth of Aug. 16, 1989.

Email newsletter signup

The trooper observed that Rocky’s eyes were glossy and his speech was slurred. He also appeared very nervous. The trooper ran the identification information, which came back as “not on file.” An Austin police officer arrived on the scene to assist in identifying Rocky, who gave the same name with a different date of birth. The information came back as someone with a driver’s license; however, Rocky did not match the photograph on the license.

Michael Phathaem

Believing Rocky to be under the influence of a controlled substance, the trooper ordered Rocky out of the vehicle. He then made Rocky conduct four field sobriety tests, three of which he failed. After the tests were administered, the officer learned Rocky’s true identity and placed him under arrest for an outstanding warrant on a misdemeanor domestic assault charge.

A deputy arrived on scene and assisted in searching the Toyota. Law enforcement found 11.1 grams of methamphetamine and an ecstasy pill (MDMA).

During the stop, a 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe pulled into Reed’s Fourth Avenue Food and Fuel at about 10:45 p.m., according to a second court complaint. The deputy saw the driver was Michael Phathaem, who had a revoked license. The deputy made contact with Michael, who said he was picking up someone from work and knew he did not have a valid license.

The deputy observed that Michael’s pupils were slow to react to light and he displayed very fast body movements. He asked Michael to step out of the vehicle and perform field sobriety tests. Michael refused and accused the deputy of harassment before telling him to arrest him. Michael was handcuffed and placed in a squad car.

Law enforcement searched the Chevrolet and founda  backpack behind the driver’s seat. In the backpack they found:

  • A vacuum-sealed bag containing 544 grams of methamphetamine;
  • A plastic bag containing 28.1 grams of methamphetamine;
  • A plastic bag containing 12.2 grams of methamphetamine;
  • A digital scale; and
  • Two methamphetamine pipes.

They also found two MDMA pills elsewhere in the vehicle.

At the Mower County Jail, Michael provided a urine sample that was sent to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension laboratory for analysis. Rocky, however, refused to provide a blood or urine sample despite law enforcement having a search warrant.

A review of Rocky Phathaem’s criminal history shows a prior conviction for third-degree drug sales. A review of Michael Phathaem’s criminal history shows a prior conviction for fifth-degree drug possession.

Both will appear in court again on Jan. 31.