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Man gets prison for drugs, firearm convictions

Ezra Robert Hardy, 26, of Austin was sentenced to 60 months in the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud for felony violent felon in possession of a firearm. He received concurrent sentences of 51 months and 21 months in prison for felony third-degree drugs – sale – narcotic (which was reduced from felony first-degree drugs – sale of 17 grams or more of methamphetamine – as part of a plea agreement reached on Feb. 19) and felony fifth-degree drug possession, respectively.

Ezra Robert Hardy, 26

He received credit for 195 days served.

Charges of felony violent felon in possession of firearm ammunition and petty misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia were dismissed at the sentencing as part of plea agreements.

Judge Jeffrey Kritzer issued the sentences.

Court documents state that narcotics detectives met with a confidential reliable informant (CRI) about purchasing methamphetamine from Hardy on Dec. 3, 2019. The CRI called Hardy to arrange a deal and was then searched, along with his vehicle, and provided with purchase money and an audio transmitter. The CRI was then monitored as he met with Hardy at a location in Austin. He then met with police at a predetermined location and surrendered 10.071 grams of methamphetamine.

The CRI arranged similar purchases with Hardy on Dec. 5, 2019, and Dec. 18, 2019. In both instances, the CRI and his vehicle were searched and he was given purchase money and an audio transmitter. He was again monitored as he met with Hardy at locations in Austin and met with police afterwards, surrendering 7.245 grams and 5.615 grams of methamphetamine respectively.

A Minnesota state trooper observed a 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix that did not have working license plate lights at about 6:47 p.m. on Dec. 26, 2019,  in rural Mower County. The trooper initiated a traffic stop at the intersection of County Road 2 and 595th Avenue in Red Rock Township. The trooper saw the passenger was Hardy, who had a warrant for his arrest. The trooper called in the Brownsdale Police Chief, who arrived on scene and arrested Hardy. The trooper searched the vehicle and found the following:

  • Plastic bag containing approximately one gram of methamphetamine;
  • Two methamphetamine pipes;
  • Scale with methamphetamine residue;
  • Marijuana pipe; and
  • Marijuana grinder with marijuana residue.

Police executed a search warrant on Hardy’s residence on Dec. 31, 2019,  and found a .38 caliber revolver loaded with six rounds of ammunition in an air vent cover.

A review of Hardy’s criminal record shows prior convictions for theft, assault, drug possession, drug sales and possession of a dangerous weapon on school property.