An Alabama man has been charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor after Burnsville police say he drove a 15-year-old runaway to Minnesota.
Justin Tyler Bland, 22, of Dothan, Ala., faces a gross misdemeanor charge, which carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $3,000 fine.
Bland remained in the Dakota County Jail Wednesday on a $6,000 bond. An omnibus hearing in his case is scheduled for Aug. 29 in Dakota County District Court in Hastings.
According to the criminal complaint, a Burnsville police officer on patrol early Monday morning spotted a Lincoln Navigator turning left at County Road 42 and Buck Hill Road on a red arrow.
The driver, Bland, began shaking as the officer approached the car to speak to him, the complaint says. The officer asked why he was so nervous, and Bland said he had never been in trouble before and didn’t know why he was being pulled over, according to the complaint.
When the officer asked for identification, Bland “became even more agitated, nervous and was shaking visibly,” the complaint says. He told the officer that he didn’t have identification, but showed him an ID card for a check-cashing agency.
Bland told the officer that he was from Alabama, and so was the 15-year-old female passenger in his car. The officer discovered that the passenger was a runaway who had been driven to Minnesota by Bland, along with two other people whom Bland said he had left at a gas station, the complaint says.
The girl told police that she and her friend had been planning to run away in two weeks, but they decided last Friday to run away with Bland and his friend, identified only as Felix. Before they ran away, the girl said, she was told to bring money with her, so she stole $300 from her grandmother, along with a number of prescription drugs, which were found in Bland’s car, according to the complaint.