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Former police officer to serve time, lose license for illegal firearm discharge in Granite Falls

Alex John Schlangen pleaded guilty in Yellow Medicine County District Court to illegal discharge of a firearm and a charge of domestic assault was dismissed for an incident in the city of Granite Falls. Schlangen was not on duty as a police officer at the time, but a felony conviction brings the automatic revocation of his peace officer license in the state of Minnesota.

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GRANITE FALLS, Minn. — A former law enforcement officer will serve 15 days in jail and two years of probation, and has lost his peace officer license, as the result of a felony conviction for reckless discharge of a firearm in a municipality.

Alex Schlangen
Alex Schlangen
Contribued / Granite Falls Police Department

Alex Schlangen

Alex John Schlangen, 29, of Richmond, pleaded guilty May 5 to reckless discharge of a firearm in a municipality as part of an agreement in which a charge of domestic assault was dismissed.

An amended sentencing order issued by the District Court in Yellow Medicine County on July 12 requires that he serve 15 days in jail with credit for four days served and probation for two years. The sentence is a stay of imposition, and becomes a misdemeanor conviction on successful completion of probation, according to the court record.

The Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training last week completed the revocation of the defendant’s peace officer license following his felony conviction. According to information from Erik Misselt, the board’s executive director, the board’s rules make it clear that, for licensing purposes, the felony conviction stands regardless of the stay of imposition, meaning the license cannot be reinstated whether or not Schlangen successfully meets the requirements of his probation.

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The Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training records show that Schlangen's license was issued in October 2014 and he had been employed during his law enforcement career with the Kanabec County and Isanti County sheriff’s offices, the Belgrade-Brooten Police Department and Upper Sioux Tribal Community Police.

Schlangen was not on duty as a tribal police officer at the time of the incident for which he was charged, according to the special prosecutor for the case, Christopher Reisdorfer.

According to the criminal complaint, Schlangen was arrested at a residence in Granite Falls shortly after 11 p.m. on Feb. 5 by a police officer responding to a report that the defendant had discharged a firearm in the house.

The defendant and his girlfriend had been at Prairie’s Edge Casino Resort and had received a sober ride home from his parents due to being intoxicated. The couple argued, and the complaint alleged that Schlangen pushed the female in the house. She suffered bruises.

The complaint stated that Schlangen went to the basement of the house and discharged a firearm. “I’ll admit it, it was discharged,” the defendant later told a police officer after initially not answering questions about whether he fired a firearm, according to the complaint.

In an order for protection sought by the woman, she stated that he threatened suicide before going to the basement of the home and discharging a Glock handgun.

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoors reporter for the West Central Tribune.
He has been a reporter with the West Central Tribune since 1993.

Cherveny can be reached via email at tcherveny@wctrib.com or by phone at 320-214-4335.
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