Chronic offender on parole in early release program charged in new case with several felonies

In 2018, Rasmusson was convicted in four of the felony cases in three different counties and was sentenced to a total of nearly 15 years in prison in the separate cases.

An Anoka man with nearly 30 prior convictions, including seven felonies, who was just released from prison in June into a special early release program has been charged with several felonies in a new case.

According to charges filed in Anoka County this week, Brandon Lee Rasmusson, 28, was found unresponsive inside a stolen vehicle in Fridley, Minnesota, on Saturday evening just after 10 p.m.

According to details in the criminal complaint, police responded to the 600 block of 57th Avenue Northeast in Fridley on a report of a suspicious vehicle partially over the curb that had been parked with its lights on for approximately an hour.

When the officer approached the vehicle, he observed a male sleeping in the driver’s seat and heard a phone ringing loudly over the Bluetooth speaker system inside the vehicle. The male did not awaken when the officer shined a flashlight into the vehicle.

The officer requested and ambulance to respond to the scene and eventually was able to wake the male who appeared dazed and confused. The male couldn’t answer the officer’s questions about what city he was in or why his vehicle was parked in that location. The officer also noticed that the vehicle was still in drive gear, the complaint said.

The officer identified the male as Rasmusson and asked him to perform some standard field sobriety tests, which Rasmusson had difficulty performing, the complaint said. A preliminary breath test (PBT) returned a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) result of .000, leading the officer to believe Rasmusson was under the influence of a controlled substance. Rasmusson was placed under arrest on suspicion of driving while impaired (DWI).

When officers ran a check on the vehicle, they found that it had been stolen out of Maple Grove. A further inventory of the vehicle’s interior found two baggies weighing 3.7 grams that contained a substance that field-tested positive for methamphetamine. Officers also found a small amount of marijuana, a digital scale, a marijuana grinder and multiple credit cards issued to a person other than Rasmusson.

A warrant was issued and executed for the collection of a blood sample on Rasmusson, and those results were still pending at the time of the complaint. However, while officers were discussing what substance Rasmusson may be under the influence of, Rasmusson spontaneously uttered “meth.”

At the time of his arrest, Rasmusson was on parole and had an active felony warrant from the Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC), the complaint said.

Rasmusson has been charged in the case with two counts of receiving stolen property and fifth-degree controlled substance, all felonies, and one gross misdemeanor count of third-degree DWI.

A search of Minnesota court records revealed that Rasmusson has 27 prior convictions in nine counties since 2010. Seven of the convictions are felonies since 2016 and include burglary, auto theft, other theft and four convictions for controlled substance.

Rasmusson was granted stayed sentences in 2016 and 2017 on three of the controlled substance convictions, which totaled over 13 years in prison. Rasmusson was alternatively sentenced to short stints in local jails and was placed on probation in the cases.

In 2018, Rasmusson was convicted in four of the felony cases in three different counties and was sentenced to a total of nearly 15 years in prison in the separate cases.

However, at least two of the sentences were ordered to be served concurrently. With credit for time already served in jail, and under Minnesota’s two-thirds rule, which only requires offenders to serve two-thirds of their sentence incarcerated, Rasmusson was released from prison in June. He was placed under supervision in the state’s “challenge incarceration program,” which is a three-phase program that allows offenders to earn early release through “boot camp” style training, drug treatment and restorative justice initiatives, among other aspects. After the initial phase, offenders are released into the community under supervision.

Rasmusson made his initial court appearance on the new charges on Tuesday and was granted a public defender. Rasmusson remains in custody in Anoka County Jail on a DOC hold with zero bail and is scheduled to make his next court appearance in Anoka County court on Dec. 16.

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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.