Mapleton woman charged after meth found in vehicle

Published 6:17 pm Tuesday, October 12, 2021

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A Mapleton woman arrested after about 29 grams of methamphetamine was allegedly found in her vehicle made her first appearance on Friday in Mower County District Court.

Rhonda Sue Nelson, 53

Rhonda Sue Nelson, 53, has been charged with felony first-degree drugs – sale of 17 grams or more – cocaine of methamphetamine – and felony second-degree drugs – possess 25 grams or more – cocaine or methamphetamine.

According to the court complaint, a Minnesota state trooper was observing eastbound traffic on Interstate 90 at about 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 6 when he was informed that Nelson was suspected of transporting methamphetamine to the City of Austin in a 2007 GMC Acadia. When he spotted the suspect vehicle, the trooper began to follow and noticed the driver was actively watching him through the driver’s side mirror.

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The trooper followed the vehicle onto West Oakland Avenue, twice observing it cross the fog line in the process. He initiated a traffic stop and made contact with Nelson, who attributed her driving behavior to two small dogs sitting in her lap. Nelson was visibly nervous and spoke in a rapid manner. The trooper also learned that Nelson was subject to an ignition interlock requirement and the GMC was not equipped with one.

Nelson initially denied having anything illegal in the vehicle, but then admitted to having methamphetamine when the trooper mentioned deploying his police canine. Nelson said there was about ½ ounce of methamphetamine in a box under the front passenger seat; however,  approximately 29 grams of methamphetamine were located under the seat.

After being read a Miranda warning, Nelson said she intended to sell the methamphetamine to an individual for $425.

A review of Nelson’s criminal record shows prior convictions for theft, conspiracy to commit theft, wrongfully obtaining assistance, manufacturing methamphetamine, drug possession and drug sales.

Nelson will appear in court again on Oct. 21.