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


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Rivera was set to accept a plea deal in May, the Free Press reports, but the deal was withdrawn by the Blue Earth County assistant attorney because Rivera insisted that Villa rode with him to Mankato, but knew nothing about the drug dealing.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

Next Up

Cam Talbot

Wild improve to 4-1 with victory over Dubnyk, Sharks

The 4-1 win gives the Wild four victories in five games to start the season.

Screen Shot 2021-01-22 at 9.08.16 PM

Daughter of MN Supreme Court Justice, Allina Health CEO found dead in Iowa

The 21-year-old was found dead in the parking lot of a sorority, according to police.

Screen Shot 2020-09-04 at 8.42.40 PM

Federal charges: MN marijuana lobbyist threatened U.S. representative

"I want you to be as scared as possible," the voicemail allegedly says.

coronavirus, masks, covid-19

Wisconsin Republicans aim to end governor's mask mandate

They've introduced a resolution to remove the governor's emergency powers.

Ted Schweich

Community group hopes to install billboard to get neighbor a kidney

A group called "Team Ted" aims to raise $5,000 to find their friend a kidney donor.

Andrew Palmer

Charges: Coach raped teenage girl on Minnesota basketball team

The 33-year-old head coach has been charged in connection to the alleged crimes.

radio station, microphone

WCCO Radio's program director leaves the company

It's not clear why John Hanson and the station parted ways.

Minneapolis skyline

Minneapolis a step closer to banning facial recognition technology

There are concerns about it leading to a surveillance state, and that it could harm disadvantaged communities.

covid-19, coronavirus, PPE

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Friday, January 22

Nearly 50,000 Minnesotans have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.