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Former sheriff pleads guilty to drug charges

By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

STOCKTON -- Former Rooks County Sheriff Randy Axelson four times Friday leaned forward, softly answering guilty to each of the four charges contained in a plea agreement.

Under the terms of the agreement, Axelson, 43, pleaded guilty in Rooks County District Court in Stockton to four felony charges, two counts of distribution of methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of school property and two counts of distribution of methamphetamine.

The five remaining charges filed against him in early January by Ellis County Attorney Tom Drees, appointed as a special prosecutor, were dismissed.

Family and friends looked on during the Friday morning hearing, as did six law enforcement members, including three from the sheriff's office. Rooks County Attorney Ed Hageman watched from the gallery as well.

The plea agreement does not, however, include a sentencing agreement -- other than a recommendation by Drees for a total sentence of 64 months in prison.

For more information, see Sunday's Hays Daily News.