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Charges dismissed against man accused of selling prescription drugs

Charges have been dismissed against an Alexandria man accused of illegally selling prescription drugs in July 2006. William Edward Hulteen had been charged with a fifth degree controlled substance crime after police officers found a prescription ...

Charges have been dismissed against an Alexandria man accused of illegally selling prescription drugs in July 2006.

William Edward Hulteen had been charged with a fifth degree controlled substance crime after police officers found a prescription pill bottle in his name in someone else's picckup truck during an investigation by the West Central Minnesota Drug Task Force.

An occupant of the pickup initially told authorities that he bought the pills from Hulteen. Hulteen denied this, saying he had simply forgotten the prescription bottle in the pickup when he had been given a ride home.

Hulteen's arrest was reported in an August 4, 2006 Echo Press story about two task force drug investigations that led to a total of eight arrests.

In an August 28, 2007 ruling that was recently brought to the newspaper's attention, Judge Peter Irvine granted Hulteen's motion to dismiss the charges.

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The judge determined there was insufficient evidence to establish probable cause to charge Hulteen.

"Specifically, finding the prescription bottle in a vehicle during the execution of an unrelated search warrant and the allegations of an individual arrested during the execution of the search warrant do not establish probably cause," the judge said in his ruling. "There are not sufficient facts to support a reasonable belief that [Hulteen] committed a crime."

The judge also ordered to refund the $250 in cash bail that Hulteen posted.

Hulteen's attorney, Greg Larson of Little Falls, argued that charges should have never been pressed against Hulteen to begin with and that authorities never had probable cause to pursue the case. He said that his client's constitutional rights against unreasonable searches were violated.

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