- Special Sections
- Public Notices
A Radcliff man discovered with more than 200 pounds of marijuana last October on a Minnesota highway was sentenced to five years probation and a $3,000 fine last Friday in Freeborn County District Court.
Minnesota court records found online indicate Shannon O. Gonzalez, 34, pleaded guilty in March to fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance, a felony crime.
A state trooper initially pulled Gonzalez over Oct. 19 on Interstate 35 for unrelated violations, according to a report in the Austin Daily Herald. Upon searching the vehicle with a drug dog, the trooper uncovered boxes and a bag carrying bricks of marijuana, amounting to 222 pounds.
According to Minnesota statutes, a person is guilty of first-degree possession if found with “one or more mixtures of a total weight of 100 kilograms or more containing marijuana.”
Two-hundred and twenty-two pounds converts to just more than 100 kilograms. However, according to the news report, the prosecutor agreed to a plea deal proposed by the defense attorney because he was concerned the judge may not find expansion of the search to be within constitutional limits.
The judge agreed to the plea agreement.
Fifth-degree drug possession is punishable by up to five years in prison if convicted, according to Minnesota statutes. Gonzalez was sentenced to five days served and five years probation.
In addition to no further criminal charges, probation terms include refraining from drug use, random testing, no ownership or possession of firearms and he must provide a DNA sample, according to court records. Gonzalez also must complete 40 hours of community service, according to the news report.
If he violates probation, Gonzalez must serve an additional 175 days in confinement, according to court records.
A search of Hardin County court records shows Gonzalez has no criminal convictions in the county.
Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or firstname.lastname@example.org.