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Police Say Man Drove Drunk With Loaded Handgun

Michael Dennis Stanke, on parole from a conviction of Assault in the First Degree, was charged with prohibited person in possession of a firearm.

A St. Paul man is charged with driving drunk with a loaded handgun on the passenger seat near the intersection of County Road 101 and Highway 7 in Minnetonka.

Michael Dennis Stanke, 44, was charged with a felony, a prohibited person in possession of a firearm. Stanke is on parole from a March 8, 2000 Ramsey County conviction of Assault in the First Degree. The maximum punishment for a conviction of the newest charge is 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.

He was also charged with misdemeanor fourth degree driving while impaired.

On March 8, an officer in the area heard loud exhaust coming from a Geo Prizm driving eastbound on Highway 7. The officer discovered the car to be stolen when running the license plate.

Stanke was taken into custody at a gas station at 17516 Highway 7. Officers located the loaded handgun in plain view on the passenger seat. Police believe Stanke was drunk with bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and had apparently urinated in his pants. He allegedly blew a preliminary breath test of .219

A blood sample has been submitted for further testing.

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