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news Willmar, 56201

Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

This is the records summary for Jan. 5.

Area law officers arrest 28 for drunken driving in December

WILLMAR — Officers from west central Minnesota law enforcement agencies arrested 28 drivers for driving while impaired during the month of December.

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The arrests were made during a Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over DWI campaign that ran statewide for the month to combat drunk driving. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety coordinated the campaign.

“DWI patrols are effective to reducing drunk driving activity, but it is clear that the issue remains a real problem that puts our roads in danger,” says Kandiyohi County Sheriff Dan Hartog. “To make progress and limit the tragedies that drunk driving causes, we need to take the simple, preventable steps, and step one is to always plan ahead for a sober ride.”

The local agencies participating in the campaign included the Kandiyohi and Swift county sheriff’s offices along with the police departments from Willmar, Atwater and Benson.

According to statewide statistics released Thursday by the DPS, preliminary numbers for 2012 show that 26,628 motorists were arrested for driving while impaired. There were 29,918 DWI arrests in 2011. The preliminary DWI arrest count will grow as alcohol-concentration data is finalized.

The local law agencies remind that the consequences of a drunken driving conviction include the possibility of losing your license for a year, thousands in costs and possible jail time. Repeat offenders, as well as first-time offenders arrested at 0.16 and above alcohol-concentration level, must use ignition interlock in order to regain legal driving privileges, or face at least one year without a driver’s license. Offenders with three or more offenses are required to use interlock for three to six years, or they will never regain driving privileges.

New storm sirens added in Meeker County

LITCHFIELD — Three new emergency outdoor storm warning sirens are being added to Meeker County’s existing system of 20 outdoor sirens already operating in the county.

Sheriff Jeff Norlin announced Friday that the new sirens are being installed at Clear Lake County Park, along the north side of Big Swan Lake on County Road 21 and on the north side of Lake Francis in Kingston Township.

All of Meeker County’s storm sirens can remotely be activated from the county dispatch center as the emergency warrants. The outdoor warning siren systems are part of the early warning system for persons who may be outdoors prior to a severe weather event.  

Clara City man to hospital after Highway 23 crash

NEW LONDON — An 88-year-old Clara City man was taken by ambulance to Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar for treatment of non-life threatening injuries sustained in a two-vehicle crash around 6 p.m. Wednesday north of New London.

According to the State Patrol, Robert Harold Brix was driving a Dodge Journey that struck from behind a Subaru driven by Quinn Jeffrey Rosendahl, 31, of New London, while both vehicles were southbound on Highway 23. Rosendahl had slowed the vehicle to make a left turn off the highway near 212th Avenue Northeast.

Arrest

WILLMAR — A 36-year-old man was arrested shortly before 1 a.m. Friday on suspicion of second-degree driving while under the influence. The arrest took place at the intersection of 60th Street and 15th Avenue Southeast.

Crash

WILLMAR — Two motor vehicle crashes involving five vehicles were reported late Friday morning at the intersection of Fifth Street Southeast and 19th Avenue in Willmar.

In the first crash, reported at 11:21 a.m. Friday, a vehicle traveling on 19th Avenue allegedly ran a red light and hit two other vehicles. Two people involved in the crash were taken to Rice Hospital by ambulance.

In another crash reported at 11:38 a.m., a vehicle stopped in the road because traffic was blocked because of the earlier crash was rear-ended by a second vehicle. There was light damage reported to both vehicles.

Names of drivers or those who were injured were not available from law enforcement on Friday.

District Court

Kandiyohi County

- Justin Paul Nelson, 25, of Lake Lillian, pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony charge of fifth-degree drug possession for methamphetamine found in a motel room in Willmar.

As part of a plea agreement, charges for receiving stolen property, possession of a weapon by a person convicted of a violent crime and for storing methamphetamine paraphernalia in the presence of a child or vulnerable adult will be dismissed. He will be sentenced Feb. 19.

Nelson and a juvenile, Steven Anthony Aguilar-Mota, 17, of St. Paul, are charged in the case. Aguilar-Mota pleaded guilty to a felony receiving stolen property charge and was sentenced, under a change of venue to Ramsey County, to 180 days of probation, 32 hours of community work service and an intensive supervision program.

Felony charges against 16-and 17-year-old juveniles are public record.

The charges were filed after Nov. 15, when CEEVI Drug Task Force agents were conducting a follow-up investigation in the parking lot of the Lakeview Inn, along Business 71 North in Willmar. They noticed a vehicle with loud music and recognized the driver of the vehicle as Johnny Juan Molina, 28, of Willmar. Molina was taken into custody for driving on a revoked license and was searched, revealing a pipe with methamphetamine residue.

 In an effort to identify Aguilar-Mota, whom agents saw walk up to Molina’s vehicle, the agents knocked on a nearby motel room door. Nelson opened the door and was arrested on a Department of Corrections warrant.

 Based on the drug paraphernalia, digital scale with drug residue and ammunition in plain sight in the hotel room, the agents were granted a search warrant for the room. They located a stolen .357-caliber Magnum revolver under the bed, a small amount of methamphetamine and marijuana and $2,080 in cash.

 The gun was traced as a weapon stolen in 2007 in Swift County. Nelson had a prior conviction for second-degree drug sale in 2010 in Kandiyohi County.

- Cody Scott Johnson, 20, of Willmar, pleaded guilty Friday to a misdemeanor charge of domestic assault for hitting a 2-year-old child in October.

As part of a plea agreement, a third-degree assault charge will be dismissed. Johnson will be sentenced Feb. 7.

The charges were filed after Oct. 25, when Willmar Police officers were called to a home along Eighth Avenue Southeast on an assault. A woman there reported that Johnson had hit her son.

 Johnson told the officer that said he and the woman had talked about the boy learning not to swear and that the child called someone a swear word. Johnson said he told the boy not to swear and that he flicked the boy’s lip as punishment.

The woman said Johnson hit the child in the face with his right hand and showed the officer that the child’s upper lip was bleeding. She said the child interrupted their conversation and that Johnson got upset and hit the child.

- Jason Richard Meyer, 30, of Willmar, made his first appearance Friday on felony charges of fifth-degree drug possession and for storing meth paraphernalia in the presence of a child.

Unconditional bail was set at $40,000. His next appearance is Jan. 14.

Meyer also faces a gross misdemeanor charge for possessing a pistol or assault weapon after being convicted of a felony.

According to the complaint, Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s deputies went to a New London residence, where Meyer also lived, on Nov. 28 looking for a man for whom they had an arrest warrant. The deputies didn’t find the man wanted on the warrant and were allowed to search the residence, finding several guns located throughout the house.

Later, deputies were informed that Meyer is a convicted felon, convicted of a first-degree controlled substance crime in 2002, and therefore not allowed to have guns. A search warrant was drafted and the search revealed nine guns, shotguns, rifles and handguns, along with ammunition and gun scopes, in the home.

During the gun search, deputies found evidence of drug use and drafted a second search warrant. That search revealed drug paraphernalia that tested positive for methamphetamine.

The investigation also revealed that a 12-year-old child lives at the home.

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