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Sting nets drug charges against Austin men

By Heather J. Carlson

The Post-Bulletin

MANTORVILLE — An undercover sting at a local hotel has led to felony drug charges against two Austin men.

Eric David Anderson, 41, and David Joe Belden, 43, were both charged in Dodge District Court this week with two counts of first-degree controlled substance crime — one for intent to sell and one for possession.

According to the criminal complaints, the Southeast Minnesota Narcotics Task Force met with a confidential informant who said he had been selling, purchasing and trading drugs in the area. The informant said he had previously brought Anderson to his drug supplier in Rochester so that the suspect could purchase 3 ounces of cocaine. He had also said he had worked on a continuous basis with Belden.

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On May 24, the informant spoke with both Belden and Anderson, and they agreed to meet at a local hotel to buy cocaine. Belden had agreed to buy 1 ounce of cocaine for $1,100. Anderson agreed to buy 3 ounces of cocaine for $2,700. Officers set up audio and video surveillance in the hotel room on May 25. They saw Belden arrive at the hotel and exchange money for the cocaine, and the suspect said during the exchange that he was "buying the cocaine to sell to someone else," the complaint states. Officers also saw Anderson purchase cocaine, and he also said he was buying the cocaine to sell to someone else, according to the complaint.

Bail for Anderson was set at $100,000. Belden was arrested and has been released with conditions. Anderson’s next court date is 9 a.m. June 8, and Belden’s next court date is at 9 a.m. June 13.

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