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Red Wing man faces first-degree drug charge

A Red Wing man made his first appearance in Goodhue County Court Monday on a first-degree drug sale charge.

Joseph Lee Brown, 101 ½ E. Seventh St., was arrested Aug. 24 after allegedly selling cocaine to a police informant. He is also facing charges for selling simulated drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to a court complaint filed Aug. 28, the police informant arranged to buy a quarter ounce of cocaine from Brown for $400. On Aug. 23, the informant met Brown in the Maple Hills Apartment parking lot, 521 Maple St., and sold him 10 ounces of cocaine.

During that sale, Brown told the informant that "he could sell to (the informant) all day every day and that he had more," the complaint says.

The informant set up a second buy for Aug. 24 in the Runnings parking lot, 411 Potter St., and again Brown sold the informant drugs, the complaint says.

When questioned by investigators, Brown later denied that he had sold any narcotics, adding that the substance he gave the informant was fake drugs, not cocaine, the complaint says.

The first-degree drug conviction carries a maximum of 40 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

Brown has a conviction in Goodhue County for third-degree drug sales from 2008. His next court appearance is Oct. 26.

Sarah Gorvin
Sarah Gorvin has been with the Republican Eagle for two years and covers education, business and crime and courts. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2010 with a  journalism degree.