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Man pleads guilty to drug charge

By Tom Larson

Sun Tribune

One of three Morris-area men facing charges in Stevens County District Court related to the sale and possession of cocaine has pled guilty.

Jose DeJesus Rangel Rodriguez, 20, of Morris, pled guilty to third degree controlled substance crime this week in return for a dismissal of a second degree charge of selling three grams or more of cocaine in October 2008. Rodriguez remains in custody pending sentencing, according to Stevens County Attorney Charles Glasrud.

Also known as "Chuey," Rodriguez was arrested Feb. 19.

Refugio Hernandez Muniz, 51, of Donnelly, is charged with first-degree felony sale of 10 grams or more of cocaine within a 90-day period.

Leonard James Larson, 50, of Morris, is charged with fifth-degree possession of cocaine.

Muniz also is in custody pending court appearances. Larson was charged on a summons, not a warrant, and was released on his own recognizance. His next court appearance also is pending.

The arrests were the result of a six-month investigation by the Morris Police Department, the Stevens County Sheriff's Office and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Rodriguez allegedly sold 3-1/2 grams of cocaine to a confidential informant on Oct. 27. Morris Chief of Police Jim Beauregard said immigration authorities also are questioning Rodriguez.