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New evidence presented in Menjivar-Melendez drug case

WORTHINGTON -- Carlos Menjivar-Melendez, 26, of Worthington, appeared in Nobles County District Court Tuesday morning for a motion hearing. He is facing one felony count of first-degree drug possession after selling more than 50 grams of methamph...

WORTHINGTON - Carlos Menjivar-Melendez, 26, of Worthington, appeared in Nobles County District Court Tuesday morning for a motion hearing.

He is facing one felony count of first-degree drug possession after selling more than 50 grams of methamphetamine.

According to court records, a confidential informant (CI) informed a special agent from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension that a purchase of methamphetamine was scheduled for March 24. The CI communicated through text messages with Rogelio Garcia-Jimenez to meet at  El Mexicano grocery store for the purchase.

The CI and Garcia-Jimenez met in an alley behind the grocery store and then proceeded to go inside El Mexicano. Once inside, the CI was ordered to go to the “meat counter,” where another individual and Menjivar-Melendez were going to give the CI the drugs.

The CI asked Garcia-Jimenez if the package was ready, and Menjivar-Melendez removed a zip-lock bag containing 27.5 grams of meth (including the bag) from his pocket and placed it between two shelves. The CI gave Menjivar-Melendez the $1,300 and exited the store.

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The state requested the reopening of the omnibus hearing due to new evidence received after the initial omnibus hearing on Nov. 1. Officers have a six-page interview with a CI who had relevant information on Menjivar-Melendez charges. The defense didn't have an objection of the new evidence, but requested it be turned in as a police report.

District Court Judge Gordon Moore accepted to conduct another omnibus hearing and asked both parties to turn in written arguments.

Menjivar-Melendez has a previous criminal history related to drugs as well.  He has an ongoing case from a Sept. 20 incident, when the Worthington Police Department received a search warrant after a suspicious car was left at Menjivar-Melendez’s house. Officers found five pounds of meth at the residence, with the drug spread through the house in bundles and zip-lock bags. He was arrested and taken to the Nobles County Jail, and a bail of $20,000 was set.

Moore prompted the defense and the state to submit their arguments quickly as Menjivar-Melendez is scheduled to go to trial in January.

First-degree possession of controlled substance carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in jail, a $1 million fine or both.

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