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Man who hid drugs in his car sentenced to probation

WILLMAR — A Belle Plaine man who was charged with first-degree drug possession received a prison sentence of 153 months, which was then stayed for 20 years.

As long as Kacey Alec Newman Traxler, 29, follows the conditions of his 20 years of supervised probation, he will not have to serve the nearly 13-year prison term.

Traxler was initially charged with first-degree drug possession and second-degree drug possession after a state trooper and a K9 officer named Skippy found a total of 65 grams of field-tested methamphetamine in Traxler's vehicle following a traffic stop in Renville County Sep. 7, 2016.

In a plea agreement Traxler plead guilty to the first-degree drug possession charge in exchange for a departure from the sentencing guidelines and receiving a stay of execution for the prison sentence. The plea deal also said Traxler was waiving the "right to appeal the omnibus issues including the constitutional issues involving the stop of the vehicle as well as the waiver of challenging any issue involving the use of a tracker on his vehicle as well as trial rights."

The conditions of Traxler's probation include no alcohol/controlled substance use except for prescribed medications, random testing, follow all aftercare recommendations of treatment and do not enter any establishment that serves or sells alcoholic beverages.

According to court documents, Traxler and a female passenger were driving along Highway 212, near the west edge of the city of Renville, when a state trooper pulled the car over after observing some erratic driving and speeding. When speaking with Traxler, the trooper observed an "overwhelming odor of male cologne and air freshener." Documents also said Traxler's eyes looked droopy and tired.

The trooper also reported seeing a butane torch light, a folding knife and a folded over purple "Crown Royal" bag in the vehicle. Traxler was unable to produce proof of insurance on the vehicle, and the court documents said Traxler became more nervous as the interaction with the trooper continued.

Traxler denied a consent search of the vehicle, the documents said, but did admit the purple bag had a syringe/needle in it and the knife would have marijuana residue on it. The trooper then prepared the K9 to search the vehicle. The dog alerted to the driver's door seam. The trooper opened the purple bag and found a package of new needles and a single needle that had a bloody paper towel material wrapped around it.

When searching the interior of the vehicle K9 officer Skippy immediately met odor and indicated on the center console, biting the folding knife, the documents said.

The trooper also pulled apart the dashboard cover and the passenger's airbag cover, according to the court documents. Where the airbag should have been the trooper found four baggies with a crystalline material, along with a tin-foil covered substance. The substance weighed a total of 65 grams and field tested positive for the presence of methamphetamine. Traxler also had $1,776 in cash confiscated from him when he was arrested.

Traxler did have two prior convictions for drug possession, both in Carver County.