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Man pleads guilty, released, promptly fails drug test

A professed Native Mob member pleaded guilty to two charges in a plea deal Tuesday, then promptly failed a drug test, earning himself a "go directly to jail" card.

Lussier

A professed Native Mob member pleaded guilty to two charges in a plea deal Tuesday, then promptly failed a drug test, earning himself a "go directly to jail" card.

Patrick Charles Lussier, 26, was originally charged in November 2012 in Carlton County Sixth District Court with seven felonies: two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon, one count of terroristic threats, one count of endangering safety by discharge of a firearm, and one count of reckless discharge of a firearm within a municipality.

In court Tuesday, Lussier admitted to shooting a gun into the air at a residence on the 1700 block of Blue Spruce Drive west of Cloquet on Nov. 11, 2012, because he was upset that no one at the party would give him a ride to Duluth. When asked by Carlton County Attorney Thom Pertler if he had threatened -- "or assaulted we'll call it," Pertler said -- a person at the party with a .22-caliber handgun, to intimidate the person into giving him a ride, Lussier agreed that he had.

According to the criminal complaint in the case, Lussier stood outside the vehicle and pointed the gun toward the man he had threatened, who was in the back seat, and then banged it on the glass of the car window hard enough to leave chips in the glass. When the group began to exit the driveway in the car, witnesses said Lussier pointed his firearm toward the car and discharged it one time. No one was injured.

The complaint states witnesses reported that even after the incident Lussier used his and others' cell phones to continue to call one of the men throughout the evening and early morning hours, telling him that he had a gun and was going to come and kill him. He had also claimed to be a Native Mob member earlier in the evening.

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Police activated the Consolidated Emergency Response Team (CERT) which located Lussier and eventually took him into custody after deploying chemical gas into the residence and then using a taser.

Lussier had bailed out of the Carlton County Jail Dec. 5 after posting $150,000 bond and since then has been residing in Minneapolis with his girlfriend, he told Sixth District Judge Dale Wolf Tuesday.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Lussier pleaded guilty to one count of each of felony second-degree assault and terroristic threats, in exchange for dismissal of the other five charges. As well, Pertler and defense attorney Bruce Rivers agreed that Lussier's sentencing to 36 months in prison could be delayed until after the birth of his child, expected in early July.

However, after Lussier stumbled in the courtroom and showed other signs of possibly being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Judge Wolf confronted him during the hearing.

"Have you been drinking or using drugs today?" Wolf asked him. "If I have you tested, will you be clean?"

Lussier claimed he was simply tired, that he had slept in the car coming up from Minneapolis that morning and he wasn't fully awake yet.

When the judge explained that one of the conditions of his release (on bond and after the plea agreement) was to abstain from alcohol or mood altering drugs, Lussier continued to insist he was simply fatigued although he did admit there might be residual marijuana in his system.

"You understand that if the judge releases you until the sentencing and there's a problem, you'll be in even bigger trouble," Pertler asked the defendant during the plea process. Lussier said yes, and agreed that he was willing to abide by the terms of the release.

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After Lussier pleaded guilty to the charges, Wolf issued an order for conditional release and ordered Probation Agent Cris Bennett to administer a drug test on Lussier, noting that if there was anything present in his system other than the aforementioned "residual marijuana" that Lussier should be taken into custody immediately.

He was. Pertler said testing, which is almost immediate, found Lussier had taken both opiates (heroin) and cocaine.

"He will remain in custody until sentencing," Pertler said, noting that a sentencing date has not been set.

Related Topics: CRIME
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