A North St. Paul man has pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine in Woodbury last March after police arrested him on suspicion of shoplifting from several Woodbury stores.
James Edward Hagen, 22, pleaded guilty to the felony drug charge in exchange for prosecutors dropping a felony theft charge in the March 2 incident.
According to the criminal complaint, Woodbury police were called to Cub Foods in Tamarack Village just after 4 p.m. March 2 to investigate a theft. Store employees reported that several people had pushed a cart full of food to the parking lot and had driven off in a car; police were told that two people were in the car, and a third person was running through the parking lot.
Police stopped the car and identified the driver as Hagen, who had an active warrant and a suspended driver’s license. The female passenger told police that her father owned the car, but that she regularly drove it.
Officers searched the car’s trunk and found items that they suspected had been stolen from Gordman’s and PetSmart in Woodbury. The managers of those stores told police that three people had walked out of each store with carts full of stolen items.
The woman in the car admitted to police that she, Hagen and another man had stolen items from Gordman’s and PetSmart, and that they had also filled a cart at Cub Foods and had walked out without paying for it.
The value of the stolen items from the three stores was $1,085, according to the complaint.
Hagen and the woman were taken to the Washington County Jail, where police searched the woman’s purse and found a plastic bag and a pen cap containing white powdery residue. The substance tested positive for methamphetamine. Hagen told officers that the items were his and that he had put them in the woman’s purse.
After his guilty plea, Hagen was placed on probation for five years. He was sentenced to 49 days in jail, with credit for 49 days already served, and was ordered to abstain from using drugs and alcohol and to submit to random drug tests at his expense.