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Alleged police pursuit results in felony charges against Mountain Lake man

Khounsanthone is scheduled to make his initial court appearance Jan. 17.

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WINDOM — A Mountain Lake man was charged with multiple felonies, including ineligible firearm possession, third-degree drug possession, fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, and a misdemeanor count of fleeing by means other than a motor vehicle.

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On Jan. 9, a Windom Police officer observed a van traveling south on Minnesota 60 with no headlights or taillights. He attempted to conduct a traffic stop and activated his emergency lights. The van reportedly did not stop and turned onto another street.

The officer activated his siren and advised dispatch he was in pursuit.

The vehicle turned on several streets before continuing east across Minnesota 60 onto U.S. 71 at a high rate of speed, according to the report. Several other members of law enforcement joined the pursuit.

The pursuit allegedly continued on U.S. 71 and turned north onto Cottonwood County 26. As the pursuit approached Sixth Street, law enforcement blocked the vehicle from entering Windom city limits, and the vehicle instead continued on county roads into Watonwan County before turning south into Butterfield. While in Butterfield, the driver made several turns and hit several snowbanks.

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The vehicle turned onto Maple Avenue in Butterfield and came to a stop, where the driver reportedly exited the vehicle and fled into the backyard of a residence.

An officer chased after and ordered the suspect to stop, warning that he would use his Taser if the suspect continued to run. The suspect got on the ground and was placed under arrest.

He was identified as David Khounsanthone, 40, of Mountain Lake.

While Khounsanthone was taken to the squad car, officers reportedly observed a loaded handgun magazine on the snow just outside the driver’s side door of the van. A K-9 unit was deployed and led officers to a bag near where Khounsanthone was arrested.

According to the complaint, another handgun magazine, a spoon, 2 baggies containing a white crystalline substance consistent with methamphetamine, and several individual baggies were found inside the bag. During a search of the van, officers reportedly located a bullet on the front passenger floorboard and a vape containing a white powdery substance.

The baggies allegedly tested positive for methamphetamine, at a combined weight of 18.4 grams.

Khounsanthone is ineligible to possess a firearm or ammunition due to a prior conviction of a violent crime.

He is scheduled to make his initial court appearance on Jan. 17. Bail was set at $50,000 with conditions.

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If convicted, Khounsanthone faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine — or both — for the drug possession charge. The ineligible firearm and ammunition charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment, a $30,000 fine, or both. Fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine while the misdemeanor count of fleeing carries a maximum sentence of no more than 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

Note: This article was written based on information reported by local law enforcement agencies. The Globe reminds readers that all individuals are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

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Emma McNamee joined The Globe team in October 2021 as a reporter covering Crime & Courts, Politics, and the City beats. Born and raised in Duluth, Minn., McNamee left her hometown to attend school in Chicago at Columbia College. She graduated in 2021 with a degree in Multimedia Journalism, with a concentration in News & Feature Writing and a minor in Creative Writing.
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