Man held on $500,000 bail in connection with Neb. warrant
WILLMAR -- Jaser Esiongeder Lopez-Mejia, 26, of Willmar is being held in the Kandiyohi County Jail on $500,000 bail on several felony charges, including being a fugitive from justice from Nebraska, where a warrant had been issued for his arrest for a sexual assault.
He's also charged with aggravated forgery for using another person's name to get a job at Jennie-O Turkey Store.
Judge Kathryn Smith set the half-million dollar bail during a court appearance Friday morning.
Lopez-Mejia is awaiting extradition to Nebraska.
Lopez-Mejia was arrested May 12 in Willmar when he was pulled over by a Willmar police officer for having an object hanging from his rear-view mirror and for having his rear license plate covered.
At that time he told police he didn't have a driver's license but that he had an identification card from Missouri.
He was arrested, taken to the jail, processed for the driving violations and released, according to court records.
During a subsequent investigation, it was revealed Lopez-Mejia had given police a false identity and that a warrant existed for his arrest in Nebraska for a first-degree felony offense of sexual assault involving a minor.
Using information from the police from Schuyler, Neb. that Lopez-Mejia was believed to be working at Jennie-O, Willmar police went to Jennie-O on Wednesday and arrested him.
According to court files, Lopez-Mejia said he moved from Guatemala to Missouri where he obtained an identification card from a friend with that person's name on it. He reportedly worked in Nebraska before moving to Willmar to get a job at Jennie-O.
He is alleged to have forged the employment eligibility verification forms at Jennie-O using the false name.
A police report indicates Lopez-Majia admitted being in Nebraska for about four years and he told police there may have been a warrant for his arrest, but he denied knowing anything about a warrant for sexual assault.
Besides the charges he faces in Nebraska, Lopez-Mejia was charged Friday with a felony charge of being a fugitive from justice from another state. He's also charged with aggravated forgery - legal rights created/terminated - a felony, giving a police officer a false name and driving without a valid driver's license.
A public defender was appointed.
His next court appearance is set for June 7.