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Fillmore County District Court

Fri, Mar 30th, 2007
Posted in Court

Felony Charges

• Dwayne Jay Smith, 33, of Stewartville, was charged in District Court on March 26, 2007 with possession of methamphetamine and marijuana. Smith is also charged with giving law enforcement a false name, driving after suspension and possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to the complaint, Smith was stopped by Chatfield police for a traffic violation on December 2, 2006. Smith gave the authorities a false name and was issued a fix-it ticket to get his vehicle repaired and released. Further checking on Smith's identity turned up the false name and he was later stopped and arrested in Preston. A check of the vehicle turned up the controlled substances and drug paraphernalia.

Judge Robert Benson released Smith on his own recognizance. He is scheduled to appear in court again on April 30, 2007.

• Levi Michael Kasten, 23, of Houston, was charged in District Court on March 27, 2007 with three felony counts of burglary and assault.

According to the criminal complaint, Kasten and, possibly, three accomplices broke into the garage of a house in Rushford on March 25 while the dwelling was occupied. The owner of the house caught Kasten but was later assaulted by the defendant.

Kasten remains in the Fillmore County Jail. Judge Robert Benson set conditional bail at $2,000 and unconditional bail at $15,000. Kasten's next court appearance is scheduled for April 2.

Felony Sentencing

• Benjamin Beck, 33, an escaped convict from Oklahoma, was sentenced to 15 years 9 months in prison after pleading guilty to two felony counts of burglary with a dangerous weapon and aggravated robbery. Eight other felony charges, including kidnapping, were dropped as part of a plea arrangement.

Beck was arrested on July 10 in Wisconsin after he and Truman Gross forced their way at gunpoint into the Norma and DeWayne Vogt home in Preston, tied the couple up and stole a vehicle belonging to the Vogt's. The couple were able to escape and alert the authorities, which helped lead to the capture of the fugitives in Wisconsin.

Gross is reportedly in prison in Arkansas. He still faces charges in Fillmore County.

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