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Austin man ditches meth plea to keep sweetheart out of the deal

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An Austin man is facing more charges in a meth case because he won't implicate his wife in a January drug sting.

The Mankato Free Press tells the story of chivalry, saying that Reynaldo Rivera Jr., 60, and Josefina Villa, 48, were arrested January 8 in a drug sting set up by an investigator with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Rivera was set to accept a plea deal in May, the Free Press reports, but the deal was withdrawn by the Blue Earth County assistant attorney because Rivera insisted that Villa rode with him to Mankato, but knew nothing about the drug dealing.

KAAL-TV reports Rivera and Villa were arrested January 8 of this year while allegedly transporting a half pound of meth from Austin to Mankato in a buy arranged by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

An investigator reported the couple delivered more than a half pound of methamphetamine. The amount of the drug recovered could have a street value of more than $20,000, estimates the paper.

Villa is currently scheduled to go to trial July 24 for two felony counts of first-degree drug sales and two felony counts of first-degree drug possession, according to the Free Press.

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