A.L. man sentenced to prison time for chase

Published 10:00 pm Monday, July 9, 2018

An Albert Lea man charged after leading officers on a chase in August 2017 that ended when he crashed into another car and fled into a cornfield was sentenced to more than 1 1/2 years in prison Monday in Freeborn County District Court. 

Carlos Reyes

Carlos G. Reyes, 41, was sentenced after he pleaded guilty in April to fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle.

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He was given credit for 322 days already spent in jail as of Monday morning. He will serve his sentence at Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud. He is expected to serve a total of 12 1/2 months in custody, with the rest of the sentence on supervised release.

Assistant Freeborn County Attorney Abigail Lambert requested Judge Ross Leuning follow recommendations of the pre-sentence investigation, noting Reyes led officers on the high-speed chase and injured an innocent motorist in the process.

She said Reyes has not been compliant with probation in past cases.

Lawyer Grant Sanders called the chase “an unfortunate situation.” He said Reyes wanted to execute the prison sentence. 

“He is remorseful,” he said.

Prior to sentencing, Reyes said he wasn’t thinking clearly at the time of the chase.

“I apologize,” he said.

Judge Ross Leuning rebuked Sanders for saying Albert Lea police officers shared responsibility for the chase, adding Reyes has a lengthy history and has failed to show the community or the court he has changed.

Court documents state the chase began when the Albert Lea Police Department attempted to pull Reyes over Aug. 21, 2017, at the intersection of East Front Street and First Street for having a felony warrant.

Reyes reportedly accelerated to 76 mph in a 30 mph zone, past Sibley Elementary School and Southwest Middle School and then north onto U.S. Highway 69.

At the highest speed, the chase reached 90 to 100 mph and traveled to the Manchester and Hartland areas.

At the conclusion of the pursuit, Reyes reportedly struck another vehicle at the intersection of 340th Street and 730th Avenue — where Steele, Waseca and Freeborn counties come together.

Reyes started running into a cornfield, and a deputy successfully followed the path of broken corn stalks and ultimately caught up with Reyes. Reyes was found with a small black propane torch, a brown leather wallet, cash and a white, powdery substance found to be meth.

Reyes was charged with felony third-degree drug possession, fifth-degree controlled substance possession, gross misdemeanor criminal vehicular operation, failing to stop for an injury traffic crash and misdemeanor fleeing a peace officer by a means other than a motor vehicle, but those charges were dismissed.

About Sam Wilmes

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

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