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Man faces multiple felony drug charges

A 40-year-old Rochester man made his initial appearance Wednesday in Olmsted County District Court, accused of being associated with more than a half-pound of cocaine during a drug investigation.

Donyale Damon Gayles, of 2040 8 1/2 St. SE, has been charged with three counts of aggravated first-degree controlled substance crime and five counts of first-degree controlled substance crime, all felonies, as well as three gross misdemeanor counts of child endangerment-possession of a controlled substance.

He's been released from custody in lieu of $50,000 conditional bail and is due back in court July 6.

According to the criminal complaint against him, between Jan. 13 and Feb. 8, Gayles sold a total of 117.8 grams, or 4.2 ounces of cocaine for an undisclosed amount of money. On at least one of the occasions, a small child opened the door of the home where the drugs were sold, the document says.

The morning of March 9, Rochester police executed a warrant at Gayles' residence; the officers waited until several children living in the home were gone before they entered the house. When no one answered their knocks, the officers entered through the unlocked door.


Inside, they discovered a small child in a closet that appeared to have been converted into a makeshift bedroom, the reports say; though it contained a bed and toys, it wasn't equipped with a smoke detector or any windows.

Officers attempted to comfort the "visibly upset" child while securing the residence, the court document says; Olmsted County Child Protection responded to the scene to assist.

A search of the residence yielded "a significant quantity of cocaine," the complaint says, including a plastic bag with a large amount of cocaine concealed in a sock in the master bedroom. The bag allegedly weighed 156.8 grams, or about 5.5 ounces.

Three small bags of cocaine were found in a nightstand in the master bedroom, the reports say, with a combined weight of 25.4 grams, or just less than 1 ounce.

If convicted, the aggravated charges carry a maximum sentence of 86 months to 40 years in prison, a $1 million fine or both. The first-degree charges are punishable by 65 months to 40 years in prison, a $1 million fine or both.

The child endangerment counts carry a top penalty of a year in jail, a $3,000 fine or both.

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