Diego Garza has been in custody at the Burnett County Jail since January 2018. He has had multiple trials set up and has had six attorneys represent him in his case including four felony charges and three misdemeanors.
Garza, 47, St. Paul, Minn., has been charged with possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, a class C felony, two counts of battery to law enforcement officer, a class H felony, disarming a peace officer, a class H felony, resisting an officer, a class A misdemeanor, possession of THC and possession of drug paraphernalia, both misdemeanors.
Garza pleaded not guilty in March 2018. Then a few months ago another felony case was filed against Garza for throwing/discharging bodily fluid while in custody. In August he pleaded not guilty to those charges.
2020 felony charges
In August, Garza was charged with throw/discharge bodily fluid at public safety worker or prosecutor, a class I felony, misdemeanor disorderly conduct and misdemeanor violate State/County institution laws. All three counts have a repeater modifier on the charge.
According to the criminal complaint, on July 19, correction officers were informed Garza was refusing to flush the human waste down the toilet.
Six officers came up with a plan to go into Garza’s cell, clean up the mess and flush his toilet.
Garza is allegedly known for flooding his cell by flushing foreign objects down the toilet. On this day the water in Garza’s cell was off because of his various flooding attempts.
As soon as an officer got into Garza’s cell, Garza allegedly began to “use his hands to scoop toilet water out of the toilet and toss it on the inside of the cell door.
The complaint continues to say Garza was telling officers to “’F’ off. Officers attempting to get Garza to stop tossing toilet water and he kept telling them “’F’ you and ‘F’ off.”
Then one of the officers told Garza if he didn’t comply with their orders he would be tased. Officers then entered his cell, cleared the debris and flushed the toilet. They did not need to use force against Garza, according to the complaint.
If found guilty of throwing bodily fluid at public safety workers he faces a possible $10,000 fine, three years and six months in prison or both. He is facing $1,000 fine, 90 days imprisoned or both. Garza is also looking at a $500 fine, 30 days imprisoned or both.
Since Garza was convicted of felony possession with intent to deliver amphetamine in 2017, he is a repeater and if convicted on these 2020 charges the imprisonment time could be increased from maximum sentence.
2018 felony charges
Polk County Judge Dan Tolan is the judge assigned in the 2018 felony case. The jury trial is set for three days Nov. 17-19 at the Burnett County Courthouse.
According to the 2018 criminal complaint, on Jan. 16, 2018, Garza was in the Probation and Parole office when he was informed he was under arrest. He tried to leave the office and ended up on the ground with a sheriff’s deputy.
During the altercation, multiple tasers were deployed. Garza was tased in the abdomen and the fight made its way out of the office. At some point, Garza gained control of the Taser and began using it against the officers.
Garza eventually got away from a deputy and the office’s chief deputy and ran off toward the woods near the office.
He was later apprehended and booked into Burnett County Jail.
The next day Garza’s vehicle was searched.
Burnett County Sheriff’s Detective Julie Mead searched the vehicle and saw a purse in the center console. Inside she allegedly found four capped syringes, a small gem-style bag with trace amounts of a crystalline substance and a glass smoking pipe that smelled like marijuana.
She found another gem-style bag in the vehicle with a crystalline substance and a plastic bag tied off with green plant material. A sample was tested and came back positive for marijuana.
The next day the vehicle search continued. Mead found two glass bubble pipes with white residue that later tested positive for methamphetamine.
She continued to find baggies with small amounts of meth. Then two pill containers were found with over 20 grams of meth.
A search of the rear cargo area uncovered .22 caliber bullets locked in a sentry safe. Also, in the safe, they found an ibuprofen bottle with 172.7 grams that field-tested positively as meth.
The Sentinel reported back in January 2019 about Garza heading to trial. Shortly after that Garza fired his attorney and the trial was once again pushed back.
He faces up to $100,000 fine and 40 years imprisoned if convicted for possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine. He also faces $10,000 in fines and six years imprisoned for both counts of battery to law enforcement and disarming a peace officer.