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Two arrested in Rodeway Inn raid; 146 grams of marijuana allegedly found

Two individuals were arrested after law enforcement allegedly found drugs at the Austin Rodeway Inn Wednesday morning.

Vanessa Cheya Benson

According to Austin Police Chief David McKichan, Mower County deputies and Austin police assisted members of the Southeast Minnesota Violent Crime Enforcement Team (SEMVCET) in executing a search warrant at about 9 a.m. on Wednesday on the manager’s residence of the Rodeway Inn. The warrant was the result of an investigation into the sales of illegal drugs.

Law enforcement searched the residence and found a cumulative total of 146 grams of marijuana, a digital scale, and plastic baggies, McKichan said.

Michael Joseph Vasquez

The manager, Vanessa Cheya Benson, also known as Vanessa Cheya Strouf, Vanessa Cheya Cantu, and Vanessa Cheya Wadley, 43, of Austin, was taken into custody. Michael Joseph Vasquez, 28, who McKichan said was Benson’s live-in boyfriend, was also taken into custody.

Both have been charged with felony fifth-degree drug possession. Benson has pleaded not guilty; a pre-trial has been scheduled for July 10. Vazquez will appear in court again on Feb. 24.