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Mankato woman accused of Walmart drug drop faces felony

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A Mankato woman who told police she was working with a gang member to help her son in prison is scheduled to appear in court Thursday for felony drug charges.

The Mankato Free Press reports that Rhonda Sue Nelson, 45, grabbed a ride to a local Walmart on December 22, where police say she then left a purse outside of the store.

A criminal complaint from Blue Earth County details a failed transaction. A Walmart customer who was trying to be helpful foiled the apparent drug drop when she picked up the purse outside the Mankato store. A store employee who checked inside the purse for identification instead found four plastic baggies containing a total of 6 grams of methamphetamine.

The Free Press reports that police were called shortly thereafter., the complaint said. An officer who responded checked the store’s surveillance video and saw a blue Neon pull up in front of the store about a half hour earlier. A woman got out of the vehicle, dropped the purse on the ground and walked into the store.

Through some sleuthing and a description of the vehicle, police eventually stopped a car and the driver led them to Nelson at her apartment.

She helped someone, identified as “J.L.” in the complaint, put the purse together for the drop, the Free Press reports.

“Nelson stated ‘J.L.’ was a gang member and she was helping out the gang in an effort to aid her son who was in prison,” the complaint said.

Felony charges of second- and third-degree drug sales and drug possession were filed against Nelson earlier this month. She was released after being questioned in December, the Mankato paper reports, so she was sent a summons telling her to appear in court Thursday.

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