Minnesota man pleads guilty in meth bust on Interstate 35

Published 9:59 am Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Plymouth man charged with possessing more than 30 pounds of methamphetamine in a vehicle on Interstate 35 in Freeborn County last year pleaded guilty on Monday in Freeborn County District Court to second-degree meth possession.

Gilberto A. Rodriguez, 64, pleaded guilty in front of District Court Judge Ross Leuning as part of a plea agreement.

Gilberto Rodriguez

Gilberto Rodriguez

He was originally charged with one count of first-degree meth possession.

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Under the plea agreement, Rodriguez faces a presumptive sentence of four years in prison.

According to court documents, Rodriguez was arrested March 19, 2015, after a trooper with the Minnesota State Patrol conducted a traffic stop on Interstate 35.

The trooper noticed a prepaid cellphone, known to be associated with criminal use to avoid law enforcement detection.

After asking for and receiving consent to search the vehicle, a K-9 alerted the trooper to the rear passenger door and to the front of the truck bed near a large air compressor.

The trooper used a wrench to open the compressor and found 33 packages of what later field tested as meth. Each of the 33 packages weighed about a pound.

Rodriguez was reportedly the passenger in the vehicle.

His sentencing is scheduled for June 30.

Rodriguez’ lawyer, Bruce Rivers of Minneapolis, expects him to be deported once he serves his sentence.

Feliberto Guerrero Rodriguez, the reported driver, pleaded guilty last month to second-degree meth possession.

Feliberto Rodriguez faces a presumptive sentence of four years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for April 28.

The charges for both carry a maximum sentence 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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