Hutchinson man faces drugs, prostitution, DWI charges

NEW ULM — A 36-year-old Hutchinson man caught in an online sting operation faces two counts of felony drug sale and possession charges, gross misdemeanor prostitution and second degree driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges in Brown County District Court.

The sting meant to target men interested in paying for sex with adult females.

The charges were filed against Adam D. Burnell, 710 North High Dr. N.W. Dec. 12.

New Ulm Police placed an advertisement in an online site commonly used for prostitution solicitation during a sex sting operation Dec. 8, according to court documents.

Mankato Department of Public Safety Detective Tom Rother was contacted on an undercover phone number by a male via text message. When the man called, a female officer, acting as a prostitute, talked with the man.

The female officer learned from the man that he was driving a 2015 Chevrolet Malibu and that he had smoked a lot of methamphetamine because it felt better when he had sex when he was “high.” The man told the female officer that he did not have cash because he was a drug dealer, but he offered to sell methamphetamine when he got to New Ulm if needed to be able to produce cash for sexual services. The man later decided to give the female officer methamphetamine in exchange for sexual services.

The female officer provided the hotel location and room number to the man. A short time later, Mankato detective Rother saw the man park his Malibu in a parking lot.

The man identified himself as Burnell and agreed to provide the female officer with $120 worth of methamphetamine in exchange for sex acts. He produced a cigarette pack, opened it and poured out three plastic baggies that contained crystal-like shards consistent with methamphetamine.

Burnell referred to the meth as “fast” during phone conversations and text messages. He admitted to being a drug dealer and selling the meth for $100 to $125 a gram. He began to warm the bubble part of a pipe recognized as being used to smoke meth with a lighter while the female officer discussed sex acts and alerted the arrest team.

Burnell was taken into custody. A state trooper later conducted tests on Burnell that indicated impairment. A search warrant was sought and approved to obtain a sample of Burnell’s blood to determine the presence of controlled substances. He was transported to New Ulm Medical Center where a blood sample was obtained.

The three bags containing suspected meth weighed 3.71, 8.25 and 3.73 grams on an uncertified scale. The crystal-like substance field-tested positive for amphetamines.

Burnell was booked into the Brown County Jail Dec. 10. His bail was set at $20,000. He was listed on the Brown County Jail roster Dec. 12.

He had been convicted of two counts of second degree controlled substance violations on June 3, 2009, in Meeker County Court; DUI/substance violations May 18, 2009, in Hennepin County Court; and operating a motor vehicle while carrying drugs July 2, 2015 in Sibley County Court.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at