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Five plead not guilty to felony drug charges

Several individuals arrested during a Feb. 20 police raid entered pleas on felony drug charges on Thursday in Mower County District Court.

Kelvin Tyrone Cotton Jr., 44, and Andrew Levelle Alexander, 37, both of Austin, pleaded not guilty to charges of felony first-degree drugs – sale of 17 grams or more of methamphetamine within a 90-day period.

Jerry Arthur Hoy, 48, of Austin pleaded not guilty to felony second-degree drugs – sale of methamphetamine in a park zone, felony third-degree drugs – possess schedule I or II narcotic drug in a park zone – and felony fifth-degree drug possession.

Kody Scott Larson, 25, and Kron Dvonte Girsham Stevenson, 20, both of Austin, pleaded not guilty to charges of felony third-degree drugs – possess methamphetamine in a park zone – and gross misdemeanor fifth-degree drug possession.

The arrests were the result of investigations into drug activity.

Court documents state narcotics detectives met with a confidential reliable informant (CRI) about purchasing methamphetamine from Cotton on Dec. 3. The CRI and his vehicle were searched and he was provided with purchase money and an audio transmitter. He was then monitored as he met with Cotton at a location in Austin. After the meet, the CRI met with the detectives at a predetermined location and surrendered 3.41 grams of methamphetamine.

The CRI arranged for similar purchases from Cotton on Dec. 6, Dec. 18 and Jan. 14. On those occasions, the CRI and his vehicle were searched and he was provided with purchase money and an audio transmitter. He was again monitored as he met with Cotton in Austin. The CRI again met with law enforcement and surrendered 6.97 grams, 1.74 grams and 5.1 grams of methamphetamine, respectively.

On each occasion, the CRI said Cotton sold him the drugs.

Similarly, narcotics detectives met with a CRI about purchasing methamphetamine from Alexander on Dec. 20. The CRI and his vehicle were searched and he was provided with purchase money and an audio transmitter. He was then monitored as he met with Alexander at a location in Austin. After the meet, the CRI met with the detectives at a predetermined location and surrendered 7.27 grams of methamphetamine.

The CRI arranged for similar purchases from Alexander on Dec. 26 and Jan. 9. On those occasions, the CRI and his vehicle were searched and he was provided with purchase money and an audio transmitter. He was again monitored as he met with Cotton in Austin. The CRI again met with law enforcement and surrendered 10.51 grams and 3.19 grams of methamphetamine, respectively.

The CRI said Alexander sold him the drugs on each occasion.

On Feb. 20, law enforcement executed search warrants on two apartment units in the 1000 block of Second Avenue Southwest, near Galloway Park. Alexander, Hoy, Stevenson, Larson, Betheny Rose Kuehn, 24, of Austin, Joseph Maurice Schwenn, 58, of Austin, and an adult male were located inside one of the units.

Law enforcement searched and seized the following:

• 0.17 gram of methamphetamine on Hoy’s person;

• 1.13 grams of methamphetamine in Kuehn’s purse;

• ½ gram of marijuana in a bedroom closet;

• 5.17 grams of a substance believed to be methamphetamine in Hoy’s backpack;

• Two computer tablets;

• A plastic card;

• A computer in Hoy’s backpack;

• Several drug paraphernalia items; and

• A pink pipe containing 0.10 gram of methamphetamine, which police believed was being passed around by Hoy, Larson, Kuehn and Stevenson.

At the Mower County Jail, detectives attempted to interview Schwenn, who resided at one of the apartments, and Alexander, but both declined to give a statement.

Detectives interviewed Kuehn, who said she got her methamphetamine from Cotton, who lived in the living room area of one of the apartments. She said Cotton had left the apartment about an hour before the search warrant team arrived.

Detectives spoke to Larson, who said he sometimes stayed with Schwenn. He said he came to the apartment about an hour or two before the search warrant team arrived and that he was smoking methamphetamine with Hoy and Kuehn after Hoy filled the pipe and passed it around. He indicted that Hoy and Cotton sold drugs from one of the apartments and identified the backpack and its contents as belonging to Hoy.

Detectives spoke to Stevenson, who said he had lived at the apartment for about two weeks and that Cotton was his “cousin.” He admitted he had been smoking methamphetamine with Hoy shortly before the search warrant was executed. He also indicated that he would test positive for cocaine and marijuana.

Detectives then spoke to Hoy, who said the substance found on him was methamphetamine, but that the substance found in his backpack was not. He said the substance was possibly MSM or MDMA that he got from Cotton. He admitted that he packed a pipe with methamphetamine and smoked it with Alexander.

The sixth adult male found at the residence told police he had arrived about 10 minutes before the search warrant team and that he saw Hoy and Kuehn smoking methamphetamine.

Cotton was arrested later in the day.

A pre-trial for Cotton has been scheduled for April 3. Pre-trials for Alexander and Hoy have been scheduled for April 17.

Larson and Stevenson will appear in court again on July 10 and Aug. 7, respectively.

Kuehn, who has been charged with felony third-degree drugs – possess methamphetamine in a park zone – and felony fifth-degree drug possession, appeared in court on Thursday, but did not enter a plea. She will appear in court again on March 12.

In addition, Schwenn is facing charges of felony aiding/abetting second-degree drugs – sale of methamphetamine in a park zone, felony aiding/abetting third-degree drugs – possess schedule I or II narcotic drug in a park zone – and felony aiding/abetting fifth-degree drug possession. His first court appearance is scheduled for March 19.