Man gets prison time for selling meth to informant

Published 10:00 pm Monday, August 20, 2018

A man who sold more than 7 grams of methamphetamine to an undercover deputy and informant in April 2016 was sentenced to four years and 10 months in prison Monday in Freeborn County District Court.

Jason Jon Casey, 35, was sentenced after he pleaded guilty in May 2017 to second-degree meth sale. He is expected to serve more than three years in prison, with more than 1 1/2 years on supervised release. Judge Ross Leuning gave Casey credit for 242 days served.

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In arguing for a dispositional departure, lawyer Jeremy Clinefelter said Casey attended Narcotics Anonymous meetings and has been chemically-free and a productive citizen since November.

He said if Casey committed the same offense today, it would be a third-degree drug case because of state statute changes.

Clinefelter said Casey, who has two criminal history points, has a minimal serious criminal record.

In arguing for Casey to be sentenced to nearly five years in prison, Freeborn County Attorney David Walker said Casey has been convicted of fifth-degree assault, driving after revocation and other charges, noting he has multiple pending cases, including a felony terroristic threats case filed in February in Faribault County District Court — after the court told Casey he needed to prove he could successfully complete probation.

Clinefelter said Casey “adamantly disputes” the account provided by the alleged victim in the terroristic threats case, noting his belief that it would have been inappropriate for Leuning to factor the case in sentencing because of its pending status. 

Casey expressed remorse for the drug crime.

“I know what I did was wrong,” he said.

Casey said he turned to drugs after his best friend died in a motorcycle crash.

Leuning said Casey had mixed success after pleading guilty to the second-degree drug crime, adding the drug offense was about selling drugs, not using.

“I’m not persuaded that you are particularly amenable to probation,” Leuning said.

Court documents state Casey was charged after a Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office deputy was told by a confidential informant April 15, 2016, that Casey planned to sell two eight-balls of meth weighing a total of 7 grams for $500.

That afternoon, the deputy and informant traveled to a residence on Third Street and met with Casey.

After getting a scale and measuring the meth, Casey bagged the drug and handed it to the deputy. The confidential informant then handed the money to him, court documents state.

The baggie weighed 7.6 grams and field-tested for meth.

About Sam Wilmes

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

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