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Two men charged after meth bust near Rochester

By Janice Gregorson

gregor@postbulletin.com

A drug bust just outside Rochester late last week has led to federal charges against two St. Paul men.

Agustin Hernandez Coria, 29, and Francisco Antonio Espino Hernandez, 24, have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of distribution of methamphetamine. The indictment, returned Tuesday, alleges that they aided each other in the distribution of 50 grams or more of the drug.

According to the criminal complaint, officers with the Southeast Minnesota Drug Task Force arrested the pair Dec. 13 after they sold meth to a cooperating defendant working with the officers.

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The complaint said the task force used the informant to make a controlled purchase of about 8 ounces of meth from Coria. Several recorded calls were made to Coria to arrange the transaction. The agreement was that he would bring 8 ounces of meth in exchange for $8,000. Of the purchase price, $4,000 was owed to Coria from a previous drug debt, the complaint said.

The exchange was to take place east of Rochester at 3:30 p.m. Dec. 13.

Task force officers set up surveillance on southbound U.S. 52 north of Rochester, watching for Coria’s vehicle. It was seen in the vicinity of 75th Street at 3:27 p.m. Officers followed the vehicle to the prearranged location east of Rochester. Other surveillance was already in place there, the complaint said. Coria entered the residence and met with the informant. A few minutes later, Hernandez arrived in a separate vehicle and delivered the meth, the complaint said. The informant then gave Coria $8,000 of task-force funds. Coria and Hernandez then were arrested.

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