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Former ‘Sun’ publisher arrested on felony drug charges

May 4, 2012
By ABIGAIL PELZER - Managing Editor ( , Times-Republican

The former publisher of the defunct Marshall County Sun faces a maximum of 50 years in prison if convicted on felony drug charges.

Max Nelson Jr., 54, is charged with two counts of delivering more than 5 grams of methamphetamine, a special Class B felony.

Court documents show that Nelson delivered the methamphetamine on Aug. 26 and Aug. 30 of 2011. He was arrested on warrants Wednesday night by agents with the Mid Iowa Drug Task Force and Marshalltown Police Department, at Tom's Cue & Brew, 803 E. Main St.

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Marshall County Chief Deputy Burt Tecklenburg said he couldn't discuss the time lapse between the offense dates and the arrest.

"Some of these cases come to a conclusion sooner than others," he said. "Sometimes they are working on some other things with the suspect and his associates, it just depends."

Tecklenburg said the charges stem from incidents in which Nelson sold methamphetamine during a controlled buy with an informant or police officer. Five grams of ice methamphetamine can be sold for up to $700, Tecklenburg said.

"When somebody tells you somebody is a drug dealer the best way to find out is if they can buy drugs from them," he said. "The task force does it all the time, it's one of the main tools in narcotics investigation."

A special Class B felony carries a maximum penalty of up to 25 years in prison and $100,000 fine.

The special class felony was implemented by the Iowa Legislature nearly a decade ago, Tecklenburg said, to enhance penalties for methamphetamine charges.

"That's because meth was such a big problem in the 90s, but it still is today," he said.

Additional arrests are pending as the investigation continues, Tecklenburg said.

Nelson is being held on a $100,000 bond in the Marshall County Jail.

The Marshall County Sun, a weekly news publication at 108 W. Main St., has been defunct for more than 18 months. Tecklenburg said he didn't know whether Nelson was currently employed, however, he thought he was trying to restart his business. The vacated store front, owned by Nelson's father, currently houses items that were intended for a garage sale.



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