Four charged with providing alcohol to minors
By Tim Ruzek
Post-Bulletin, Austin MN
Criminal charges have been filed against four Austin men who allegedly provided two kegs of beer June 2 for numerous underage people at a party.
Each of the defendants face gross-misdemeanor charges and have been summoned to appear July 23 in Mower District Court.
John Patrick Fargen, 21, allegedly bought two kegs of beer from a liquor store in Austin after being repeatedly contacted by the three other defendants, according to a criminal complaint.
Fargen, 1916 Seventh Ave. N.E., is charged with two counts of providing alcohol to a person under 21.
Andrew James Dennison, a 20-year-old who allegedly hosted the party just outside of Austin at a home owned by his parents, faces three counts of providing alcohol to a minor.
Dennison, 1907 Ninth St. S.W., told authorities the home has been unoccupied and awaiting demolition, the complaint says. He allegedly admitted to hosting the party and said his parents didn’t know about it.
Benjamin Everett Johnson, 19, 2103 Fifth Ave. S.E., and Ryan Tyler Berg Ethen, 19, 701 19th Ave. S.W., both face counts of aiding and abetting the providing of alcohol to a minor.
According to the criminal complaint, a Mower County deputy was notified around 11:50 p.m. June 2 of a large keg party at 2703 Fourth Drive S.W. in Austin Township with underage people.
Two deputies, two state troopers and four Austin police officers responded to the party, finding about 40 people inside.
The complaint listed 29 people cited for underage drinking and/or other charges, including three who were 17. A majority of those people were 19.
Several people fled on foot when authorities arrived, including exiting through windows.
People over 18 were cited and released once they had transportation arranged. Juveniles were detained until their parents had been contacted and a responsible person arrived to get them.