Man sentenced to more than 8 years for drug sales

Published 5:13 pm Thursday, January 5, 2023

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Freeborn County District Court Judge Ross Leuning sentenced an Albert Lea man to eight years and two months in prison Thursday for selling drugs to a confidential informant in 2021.

Cody Ash

A jury found Cody Shawn Ash, 30, guilty of one count of second-degree drug sale in October. He initially also faced one count of first-degree drug sale, but was acquitted of that charge.

The charges stemmed from four controlled buys with an informant.

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Ash’s lawyer in November filed a motion for a downward departure from the presumptive sentence of 98 months, stating that Ash sold cocaine after being contacted by a family friend and acquaintance, who used his position of trust and leaned on Ash until he broke down and agreed to sell him cocaine.

“And, while the jury did not fully accept Mr. Ash’s entrapment defense, facts that do not amount to entrapment may still be considered by the court as a mitigating factor,” his lawyer, Arthur Waldon, wrote in the motion.

Waldon argued Ash was not a threat to public safety because he was not arrested after the first sale. He also said Ash had not sold controlled substances to anyone else in the community other than the informant and that there was no evidence or testimony during the trial to say otherwise.

Waldon argued Ash instead serve 52 months, stating Ash has had no other criminal history with controlled substances and has made “tremendous” progress while in jail, using that time to better himself and prepare for life out of custody.

Ash will be taken to the state prison in St. Cloud and will be given credit for 419 days already served in the Freeborn County jail.

He must pay $205 in fees.

Ash was also given an amended sentence of 18 months in prison for a probation violation tied to a 2017 charge of violating a domestic abuse no contact order and 17 months for a probation violation tied to a first-degree damage to property charge from 2018. The time will be spent concurrently with the time on the drug sales charge.