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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A Rochester man who is well-known to law enforcement officials throughout southeastern Minnesota has been sentenced to 17 months in prison for a high-speed chase last year, but he will likely still be eligible for release later this month or in early March.

38-year-old Brent Douglas Espenson entered a guilty plea to a felony count of fleeing police in December. Under the terms of his plea agreement, felony drug and theft charges that were filed against him in Olmsted and Wabasha Counties were dismissed.

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The high-speed chase occurred on April 4 of last year when Espenson refused to stop for a Fillmore County deputy after he was spotted speeding on Highway 63. The pursuit continued into Olmsted County, where the deputy observed Espenson's vehicle speeding through Stewartville at approximately 75 mph.

T.J. Leverentz/TSM Rochester-Preston
T.J. Leverentz/TSM Rochester-Preston
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The court document alleged that Espenson accelerated to more than 100 mph as the pursuit moved toward Rochester. The deputy, in his report, stated that the speedometer in the squad car reached 120 mph and the vehicle was still pulling away from him.

The vehicle chase ended after Espenson drove over some "stop sticks" that had been deployed by Rochester police near the 48th Street interchange. The criminal complaint says Espenson and his passenger were seen "bailing out" of the vehicle.

TJ Leverentz/TSM Rochester-Preston
TJ Leverentz/TSM Rochester-Preston
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According to the charges, a Rochester police officer ran after Espenson and tackled him in the ditch near the Highway 52/63 interchange. The passenger was apprehended after he was found hiding under a tree at the nearby Menard's Store site.

The criminal complaint states that just under 8 1/2 grams of methamphetamine, some marijuana, and drug paraphernalia were found in the vehicle.

Minnesota Correctional Facility - St. Cloud -- Photo by Ashli Gerdes, WJON
Minnesota Correctional Facility - St. Cloud -- Photo by Ashli Gerdes, WJON
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Espenson is currently serving a 31-month prison sentence for a drug conviction in Goodhue County. His new sentence adds 17 months to his prison term, but he was given credit for the 331 days he has been behind bars since his arrest. That, combined with credit for good behavior, will likely erase nearly all of the additional prison time. As it stands, Espenson is currently scheduled to be released from prison on February 21.

Espenson has a lengthy criminal record. It includes numerous felony convictions for drugs, that date back to 2003.

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