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Flannigan accepts plea agreement

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The 28-year-old Brainerd man who led authorities on a high-speed chase June 1 pleaded guilty to his crime Monday in Crow Wing District Court and received a prison sentence.

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Michael David Flannigan — charged with two felony counts of fifth-degree possession of marijuana, felony fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, misdemeanor driving after revocation and a petty misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia — pleaded guilty to fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance.

According to court documents, Judge Erik Askegaard sentenced Flannigan to 19 months in a correctional facility, to include time already served. Flannigan also will be placed on 10 years of supervised probation with conditions to include that he will not be able to enter any bars; cannot be in possession of firearms, alcohol or controlled substances; and remain law abiding. Part of the plea agreement includes that Flannigan must enter and successfully complete the Minnesota Teen Challenge program.

According to the criminal complaint:

On June 1 a Brainerd Police officer attempted to stop Flannigan’s vehicle. When the officer activated the squad’s emergency lights, Flannigan darted into traffic south on 10th Avenue and eventually led officers to a driveway on Red Pine Road driving through a fence separating private property from railroad property. The pursuit continued east/northeast parallel to the railroad tracks. A prescription bottle contained 14- 30 milligrams of M. Amphet Salt capsules, a camera that contained photographs of the defendant, a pipe which had the odor of burned marijuana, a digital scale and several unused small plastic baggies were found in his vehicle.

Brainerd officers, Baxter K-9, Crow Wing County Sheriff’s deputies, Minnesota State Patrol and DNR conservation officers assisted in tracking Flannigan for several hours, but were unable to locate him. According to Baxter police, Baxter Officer Matt Maier and his K-9 dog, Gator, pursued the suspect into the swamp. After traveling about a mile into the swamp, Gator suffered life-threatening medical issues and had to be carried out of the swamp through chest-deep water at times. The dog was taken to Lakeland Veterinary Hospital and given life-saving treatment. The vet at Lakeland said the dog was close to expiring. The K-9 dog is in good condition and went back to work the following Monday after the search.

Flannigan also was seen in court Monday for a probation hearing on other charges. Flannigan was charged Nov. 13, 2011, on fifth-degree felony possession of marijuana, two gross misdemeanor counts of driving while impaired (DWI) and misdemeanor charges of driving after revocation, traffic regulation and possession of more than 1.4 grams of marijuana in a motor vehicle. In February, Flannigan was sentenced to 19 months in prison, with five years of the sentence stayed on the drug charges where he was placed on probation; and one year in jail with one to three years stayed where he was placed on probation for the DWI charges.

According to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Flannigan was convicted of fifth-degree felony drug charges on June 27, 2005 and he escaped from custody on Aug. 8, 2005. He also was convicted on Sept. 1, 2006 for felony theft; Sept. 3, 2008 for theft of a motor vehicle; Aug. 9, 2011 for fifth-degree possession of marijuana; Aug. 15, 2005, for fifth-degree assault; and April 10 for fifth-degree possession of marijuana and DWI.

Flannigan was confined in the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud for the theft of the vehicle in 2009 and in 2011 on the fifth-degree possession of marijuana.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at jennifer.stockinger@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5851. Follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jennewsgirl.

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