ST. PAUL, Minn. – A convicted Rochester drug dealer loses another appeal.
Brian Ven Vangrevenhof, 41 of Inver Grove Heights was found guilty in Olmsted County of 1st degree drug sales and 2nd degree drug possession. Authorities say he was dealing methamphetamine out of a Rochester storage unit. Vangrevenhof was sentenced in June 2018 to eight years and 11 months in prison.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals previously rejected Vangrevenhof’s claims his conviction should be overturned on five grounds: an out-of-court statement by a co-defendant should not have been admitted at his trial, pawn shop receipts that could have explained the large amount of cash found with Vangrevenhof were excluded, he was prejudiced by a jury instruction in open court he did not agree to, social media messages on his phone were excluded at trial, and the jury’s viewing of law enforcement body-camera footage of a co-defendant’s arrest was interrupted.
Vangrevenhof appealed the ruling on the out-of-court statement by a co-defendant to the Minnesota Supreme Court. He says since the co-defendant, a woman, recanted her statement to the police about buying methamphetamine from him, those statements should not have been introduced as evidence at his trial.
The Minnesota Supreme Court has rejected that argument, stating the statement should have been admitted because the trustworthiness of Vangrevenhof’s co-defendant was a legitimate issue. The Supreme Court noted there is physical evidence supporting her statements about buying meth from Vangrevenhof and that she only recanted after being urged to do so by a friend of Vangrevenhof.