A southwest Minneapolis man has been charged in Dakota County with possession of methamphetamine and stolen checks, and fighting Eagan police when they tried to arrest him.
Ronald Ervin Lavalle Jr., 42, is charged with fifth-degree drug possession, a felony with a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
He also faces two counts of obstructing the legal process, a gross misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $3,000 fine, and a misdemeanor charge of possession of stolen checks, which has a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
An Eagan police officer on routine patrol at about 10:30 p.m. Dec. 12 spotted a car with a cracked windshield in a business parking lot, according to the criminal complaint.
The officer checked the car’s license number and discovered that the owner’s driver’s license had been revoked.
As the officer watched, the car’s owner came out of the business, followed 25 minutes later by a second man, later identified as Lavalle. The two men got into the car and drove away.
The officer stopped the car and asked the two men for identification for the revoked license charge and because Lavalle was not wearing a seat belt.
Lavalle told the officer that he didn’t have identification with him, but gave his name. The officer asked Lavalle to get out of the car, but when he attempted to pat him down, Lavalle tried to pull away, according to the complaint.
Lavalle was handcuffed, and the officer found three checkbooks in his back pants pocket, none of which belonged to Lavalle, the complaint says. The officer also found a plastic bag containing a substance that subsequently tested positive for .92 grams of methamphetamine.
The officer called one of the checkbook owners, who said he had driven his wife’s car to work on Dec. 4 and that someone had broken into it and stolen items from inside.
Lavalle told police that he found a plastic bag containing all the checkbooks in a parking lot. He said he thought they had been stolen, and he planned to contact the owners. He also said that he had picked up the methamphetamine for someone else, according to the complaint.
Lavalle remains in the Dakota County Jail on a $35,000 bond. An omnibus hearing in his case is scheduled Jan. 8 in Dakota County District Court in Hastings.