Man pleads not guilty to meth possession

Published 10:02 am Monday, March 14, 2016

An Albert Lea man pleaded not guilty Thursday afternoon in Freeborn County District Court to possessing more than 16 grams of methamphetamine last month while walking on Interstate 90 in eastern Freeborn County.

Manuel Velez Jr., 28, faces one count of second-degree methamphetamine possession.

Manuel Valez Jr.

Manuel Valez Jr.

According to court documents, Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a call for assistance early in the morning of Feb. 24 regarding a person walking on I-90 in eastern Freeborn County.

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Upon arrival, the deputies reportedly found Velez walking west on the interstate. After a deputy asked what his name was and Velez responded, he was arrested on a warrant.

Deputies found a baggie with a white crystal substance in his left jacket pocket, which reportedly later tested positive as methamphetamine and weighed approximately 16.4 grams.

Velez is next slated to appear for a settlement conference May 11, and a jury trial July 26, if the case has not been settled by then.

Second-degree methamphetamine possession carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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