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Cottage Grove man faces long probation for meth conviction

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A Cottage Grove man who was busted with 11 grams of methamphetamine in his underwear could avoid prison time, but faces 20 years of probation.

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Ryan B. Nilo, 28, pleaded guilty to a charge of first-degree sale of methamphetamine, a felony. State sentencing guidelines recommend an 80-month prison term for that offense. Washington County District Court Judge Susan Miles on March 21 granted the defense's request to depart from the guidelines, a move the prosecutor opposed, said Washington County Attorney Pete Orput.

The criminal complaint says Nilo's arrest happened like this:

Authorities assigned to a Ramsey County Violent Crime Enforcement Team had obtained a warrant in June 2010 to search Nilo, a Cottage Grove residence and a vehicle. Four days later, police stopped the vehicle while Nilo was driving on 70th Street near Highway 61. During an initial search, a digital scale was found in Nilo's pocket. Police allegedly recovered a small amount of marijuana from the vehicle, before moving the investigation to the Cottage Grove Police Department.

Police searched Nilo and found in his underwear a package containing 11 grams of methamphetamine.

During a police interview, Nilo admitted that he was carrying "probably an eight-ball" of drugs. The complaint says that when asked what he was doing with that much of the illegal drug, Nilo replied: "Probably not the right thing."

Nilo was placed on probation for 20 years and ordered to serve 365 days in jail, with credit for 60 days served. Other probation conditions include no use of "mood-altering chemicals including alcohol, random drug testing and treatment. The judge ordered Nilo's case to be reviewed in a year. A probation violation could result in prison time.

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Scott Wente
Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
(651) 459-7600
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