Isanti man sentenced for crimes in two counties

A 42-year-old man who last lived in Isanti was sent back to prison in
St. Cloud on Aug. 25, 2010 for a third-degree drug possession case out
of Ramsey County.

Eric Hagen
Anoka County Union

A 42-year-old man who last lived in Isanti was sent back to prison in St. Cloud on Aug. 25, 2010 for a third-degree drug possession case out of Ramsey County. While he was in prison, a concurrent sentence was handed down Jan. 10 in Anoka County District Court on a fleeing police in a motor vehicle charge.

Concurrent sentences means the prisoner serves the sentence that has the highest number of years, but the sentences are not combined.

John William Pierce’s (pictured) Anoka County sentence was 17 months for fleeing police in East Bethel and into Bethel on July 24, 2010.

Pierce was sentenced to 39 months minus time already served in jail for the Ramsey County drug case. His anticipated release date is July 2, 2012, according to Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC) records. He will then be on supervised release until Aug. 1, 2013.

Past troubles

Pierce was on supervised release for a meth manufacturing charge sentence when he got in trouble with the law once again.

According to an Isanti County News article from July 2001, four separate meth labs were located on Pierce’s property. A number of firearms, night vision and scoping goggles and walkie talkies were among the other items confiscated. Pierce had a surveillance system set up on his property as well. Isanti County Chief Deputy Sheriff Kory Erickson was quoted in the article as saying it was one of the larger meth lab setups discovered in the area.

According to Isanti County District Court and DOC records, Pierce was sentenced in July 2003 to 81 months in prison minus time served on the first-degree controlled substance charge for the meth labs in Isanti County.

While in prison, Pierce received concurrent sentences for a fifth-degree controlled substance charge out of Anoka County and a first-degree controlled substance charge out of Isanti County.

His prison term at St. Cloud ended Dec. 17, 2007, according to the DOC. After this, he was on supervised release until Sept. 25, 2009.

On July 14, 2009, Pierce was charged in Isanti County for receiving stolen property, then July 27, 2009, he was charged with fleeing police in a motor vehicle and fifth-degree drug possession in Isanti County. Both these cases were combined and he originally pleaded not guilty to all three charges on Nov. 18, 2009, but he later amended his plea to guilty April 21, 2010 for the fleeing police and fifth-degree drug possession charges. These two cases are currently listed as dormant.

The third-degree drug possession charge out of Ramsey County was charged Oct. 27, 2009.

Pierce failed to make an appearance in an Isanti County courtroom Jan. 14, 2010, so a warrant was issued for his arrest. The next day, a St. Francis Police officer randomly running license plate numbers found out about the warrant and arrested Pierce. During an inventory search of the vehicle, the officer discovered a glass pipe and a plastic baggie with 0.3 grams of methamphetamine. He was charged with fifth-degree drug possession for this incident.

June 6, 2010, Ramsey County issued a warrant for Pierce’s arrest for failure to appear at a hearing for the third-degree drug possession case. He had pleaded guilty to this charge on March 11, 2010.

Isanti County issued another warrant on July 21, 2010 because Pierce once again failed to appear at a hearing.

July 24, 2010, Pierce was arrested in Bethel for fleeing police. Authorities attempted to stop him because Pierce had expired driver’s license tabs, according to the criminal complaint.

The deputy had to maintain a speed of around 100 mph to follow the vehicle as it headed north on Highway 65 through East Bethel before turning west. The chase ended when Pierce lost control of his vehicle and went into a ditch. He fled, but a police dog was able to track him down. Pierce was arraigned for this fleeing police charge on July 26, 2010.

The Isanti County News contributed to this report