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Christin Swenson sentenced to 30 days jail

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A Minnesota native was sentenced to 30 days jail Tuesday in Pierce County Circuit Court after being found guilty of illegally delivering articles to an inmate.

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Christin Swenson, 19, North Branch, was also placed on two years' probation by Pepin/Buffalo Circuit Court Judge James Duvall. The jail term with work release privileges was a probation condition. Other probation terms include no presence in bars or taverns and no possession or consumption of alcohol. A mental health assessment was also ordered.

Swenson was convicted of the felony charge by a jury last month. Prosecutors had jail deputies testify that having the photo of the woman's body part was against jail procedures, along with a representative from the Roseville law firm testifying she checked their client's database and Wade Swenson's name wasn't on the list.

The jury then heard selected clips from the phone calls Wade Swenson had with Christin Swenson, as jail policy called for all outgoing calls made by inmates to be recorded.

The jury also repeatedly heard the pair telling each other they loved each other. The age difference between the two is 21 years. Christin Swenson turned 19 in April and Wade Swenson turned 40 in May.

According to a criminal complaint, Pierce County Sheriff's Department investigators were notified by the jail on Dec. 9 of a letter written to Wade Swenson by a law firm in Roseville, Minn. The address label and return address were handwritten, which caused jail officials to become suspicious, as jail policy indicates all legal correspondence must have an embossed or type return address.

Wade Swenson had conducted phone calls to Christin Swenson, the complaint states, to have her gain the use of a printer and to use an attorney's name because jailers do not open legal mail due to its confidential manner. Jail logs as of early December show Wade Swenson had sent 20-plus letters to Angie Bates, -- Christin Swenson's alias -- and he had made 55 phone calls to her.

The letter in question was opened by Wade Swenson in front of a sheriff's deputy. Its contents included a photo of a woman's body part, an attorney bill and a letter, described as a "kitchen fantasy." The bill was given to Wade Swenson, but the rest of the contents were confiscated. The picture of the woman's body part was identified as Christin Swenson's.

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Jason Schulte
Jason Schulte has been with the Herald since 2006. He covers County government and anything else that happens in Pierce County on a daily basis.
(715) 273-4334
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