Man indicted on federal drug charges

Published 9:25 am Friday, March 12, 2010

At least one Albert Lea man charged locally in January for first-degree methamphetamine sales was indicted this week on federal drug charges related to the same incident.

Fernando Barrientos Rezendis, 21, on Tuesday was indicted by a federal grand jury with one count of possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.

He allegedly sold two pounds of meth to an undercover agent Jan. 13, according to Freeborn County District Court records.

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In Freeborn County District Court Thursday, County Attorney Craig Nelson dismissed the state charge against Rezendis because of the new federal charge.

Nelson said U.S. Marshals will come to Albert Lea to execute a federal warrant for the man in the next few days. In the federal indictment, the man is referred to as Fernando Rezendis Barrientos.

The county attorney said he also dismissed the first-degree sales charge against co-defendant Santos Garcia Penaloza, 25, in anticipation of federal charges as well.

According to court documents, the men were arrested by the South Central Drug Task Force, the South Eastern Drug Task Force, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office and the Albert Lea Police Department after the alleged sale, which was for $50,000.

Documents state Rezendis allegedly conducted the sale in the Napa Auto Parts parking lot, while he was accompanied by another man, Rodolfo Valdez-Magdaleno, who drove the automobile to the sale.

Following his arrest, Rezendis reportedly told BCA agents he got the meth from Penaloza at “what he called the tire shop and pointed it out on Broadway and Fifth Street,” documents state.

After Rezendis made arrangements to pay Penaloza for the sale and to get more meth, authorities arrested Penaloza walking across the street from Hardee’s.

During Rezendis’ interview, he told authorities that Magdaleno knew about the meth and agreed to help him by driving the Expedition. There was an agreement that Magdaleno would get $1,000 for helping him out, documents state.

Nelson said Magdaleno will still be charged locally in Freeborn County District Court.

He also faces a first-degree drug sales charge.

No federal indictment against Penaloza could be found as of Thursday afternoon.