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Hinton pleads guilty to amended charge

By Staff | Jan 17, 2010

A plea agreement condition will require a 40-year-old Elmore woman to continue chemical dependency in Fairmont.

Teresa Ann Hinton pleaded guilty to third-degree controlled substance in Faribault County District Court on Monday.

She was initially charged with two counts of first-degree manufacturing of methamphetamine in the Nov. 4 drug bust that also resulted in the arrest of 48-year-old Rick Rochefort of Delavan.

In November, Hinton was allowed to seek treatment in St. Peter and has completed the program.

Defense attorney Bill Grogin told Judge Douglas Richards his client will enter a new family dependency treatment court at Harbor Home in Fairmont.

The maximum penalty for third-degree controlled substance is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Grogin says the charge carries a presumptive stay sentence of 21 months.

A pre-sentence investigation has been ordered.

Before entering her guilty plea, Hinton answered questions from County Attorney Brian Roverud.

Even though Hinton was charged for the November incident, she agreed to possessing and using more than 3 grams of meth in October.

Hinton says during her use of meth, Rochefort supplied her the drug.

She also admitted using the drug prior to October, but it was not with Rochefort.

According to a court complaint, the two were arrested around 8:30 p.m. after their vehicle was stopped while traveling south on Highway 169 through Elmore.

A bottle which had a lithium strip, says the complaint, contained a substance that was actively producing meth in the trunk of the car.

Hinton told Roverud she had no knowledge of the meth when authorities stopped them.

Rochefort also appeared in court.

Defense attorney Patrick Casey requested a one-hour contested omnibus hearing for his client.

It’s the second time Casey has asked for a continued hearing, to determine whether there is sufficient evidence for the charges his client faces.

Rochefort has been charged with one count of first-degree manufacturing of methamphetamine; first-degree conspiracy to manufacture meth; and first-degree possession of a controlled substance/meth.

Because of a prior controlled substance conviction, each charge carries a maximum penalty of 40 years and a $1 million fine.

He also is being held on a Department of Corrections arrest warrant for violating conditions of his supervised release from prison.

Rochefort’s bail was set at $1 million without conditions or $500,000 with conditions.