Two plead guilty to drug possession charges

Published 8:14 am Saturday, October 5, 2019

Two men facing drug possession charges in separate incidents entered guilty pleas this week in Mower County District Court.

Erik Scott Ulland, 31

Erik Scott Ulland, 31, of Austin pleaded guilty to felony first-degree drugs-possess 100 grams or more of methamphetamine-as part of a plea agreement. He initially pleaded not guilty on Aug. 29.

As part of the agreement, charges of misdemeanor possess over 1.4 grams of marijuana in a motor vehicle and misdemeanor driving after revocation will be dismissed at the sentencing.

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Court documents state that on Aug. 21, regional narcotics officers advised an Austin narcotics detective that a 1999 Honda Civic was heading south on Highway 218 and that the driver could be in possession of drugs. They also advised the driver was traveling at a high rate of speed and passing other vehicles in an unsafe manner, having almost caused an accident.

An officer stopped the vehicle in the vicinity of 14th Street Northwest and Interstate 90. The driver, Ulland, told the officer he was on probation and did not have a valid driver’s license.

Other officers arrived on scene, including a canine that indicated there were drugs in the vehicle. Ulland told law enforcement the drugs were in the trunk. Police uncovered a bag containing 211 grams of methamphetamine, $354 cash and drug paraphernalia items in the vehicle. Ulland was also found to be in possession of 4.14 grams of marijuana.

Ulland told police he had picked up the drugs from “someone” and that “someone else” was supposed to pick them up from him. He denied knowing the names of the other subjects involved in the transaction.

A review of Ulland’s criminal history shows he is currently on probation for felony fourth-degree assault on a peace officer.

Ulland will be sentenced on Dec. 12.

Rene Pena Cordero, 63

Rene Pena Cordero, 63, of Bloomington pleaded guilty to felony second-degree drugs-possess 25 grams or more of cocaine or methamphetamine-as part of a plea agreement. He initially pleaded not guilty on Feb. 21.

The charge was reduced from felony first-degree drugs-possess 50 grams or more of cocaine or methamphetamine-as part of the agreement. A charge of felony fifth-degree drug possession-possess schedule 1,2,3,4-not a small amount of marijuana-will be dismissed at the sentencing as part of the agreement.

Court documents state that on Jan. 31, police executed a search warrant on Cordero, who was suspected of delivering a large amount of drugs to Austin. Cordero and a passenger were spotted in a 2018 Sentra Sedan with a Montana license plate. When they exited the vehicle, the officers approached them about the search warrant.

While searching Cordero, officers found a bag containing one pound (or 453 grams) of methamphetamine in his left pocket. When asked what was in the bag, Cordero said “drugs.” He was also found to be in possession of 3.57 grams of cocaine, two oxycodone pills and four alprazolam pills.

A review of Cordero’s criminal record shows prior convictions for assault, drug possession and sales of a controlled substance.

Cordero will be sentenced at a later date.