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Litchfield, Minnesota, woman sentenced to nearly seven years for drug possession

Julia Gabriela Franco, 24, of Litchfield, was sentenced to serve 81 months in prison for first-degree drug possession. Franco pleaded guilty to the possession charge and six other charges, including first-degree drug sale, were dismissed.

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LITCHFIELD โ€” A Litchfield woman who was found with more than 138 grams of methamphetamine at her residence is now in prison.

Julia Gabriela Franco, 24, was sentenced Feb. 15 in Meeker County District Court to 81 months in prison for first-degree drug possession. She received credit for 64 days.

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Julia Gabriela Franco
Contributed / Minnesota Department of Corrections

Franco pleaded guilty to the first-degree drug possession charge. In exchange, six other charges in the case were dismissed, including a felony charge of first-degree drug sale and fleeing a police officer by means other than a motor vehicle.

Per the plea petition, the attorneys also agreed to Franco receiving a "bottom of the box" sentence, meaning the shortest term within the range of prison time that sentencing guidelines would recommend.

Under Minnesota law, convicted offenders must serve two-thirds of their sentence in custody before being eligible for supervised release.

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According to the Minnesota Department of Corrections, Francoโ€™s expected release date from the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Shakopee is June 14, 2027.

According to the criminal complaint, Franco and three others were apprehended by law enforcement as CEE-VI Drug and Gang Task Force agents executed a search warrant at a residence in Litchfield.

As an agent entered the house, two people, including Franco, were seen fleeing out the window in the south bedroom of the house. The two were arrested a short distance away from the home.

The southern bedroom was occupied by Franco and a man.

According to the complaint, a search of that bedroom yielded two bags containing more than 138 grams of methamphetamine in total, along with other drugs and drug paraphernalia and $838 in U.S. currency.

Law enforcement found additional drugs and paraphernalia throughout the residence, including marijuana, glass pipes, prescription drugs and a digital scale.

Franco's public criminal history includes four previous felony fifth-degree drug convictions from March 30, 2020, to Sept. 13, 2022.

Dale Morin is a reporter with the West Central Tribune. He covers public safety and breaking news beats.

Dale can be reached at dmorin@wctrib.com or by phone 320-214-4368.
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