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

This is the records summary for March 22.

Hutchinson woman hurt in crash south of Eden Valley

LITCHFIELD — A 37-year-old Hutchinson woman was taken by ambulance to Meeker Memorial Hospital for treatment of minor injuries sustained in a one-vehicle rollover around 6:15 p.m. Wednesday along State Highway 22 south of Eden Valley.

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According to the Meeker County Sheriff’s office, Sarah Benson was driving a 2003 Chevy Trailblazer and lost control due to the icy road conditions. The vehicle crashed into the ditch and rolled about a quarter mile south of the intersection with County Road 3.

Benson’s passenger, her 13-year-old daughter, was not injured. The crash is currently under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office.

No injuries in Grove City crash

GROVE CITY — According to the Meeker County Sheriff’s office, there were no injuries reported in the rollover crash reported around 11 a.m. Wednesday west of Grove City in Acton Township. The vehicle involved in the crash was featured in a photo in Thursday’s West Central Tribune.

Watkins man hurt in snowplow crash

WATKINS — A 24-year-old Watkins man was taken by ambulance to Meeker Memorial Hospital for treatment of injuries sustained when his vehicle struck a Meeker County Highway plow around 7:30 a.m. Thursday on Meeker-Stearns Street at the intersection with 667th Avenue, in Forest Prairie Township.

According to the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office, Travis Donnay was driving a 2003 Dodge Stratus eastbound and collided with the rear of the plow truck driven by Phillip Valiant, 58, from Litchfield.

The State Patrol also responded to do a required inspection on the plow truck. The crash is under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office.   

Arrest

WILLMAR — A 29-year-old man was arrested on charges of obstruction of the legal process and on warrants around 3 p.m. Wednesday along the 1600 block of Highway 12 East.

Property damage

WILLMAR — Damage to a vehicle was reported around 9:15 p.m. Wednesday along the 1000 block of Sixth Street Southwest.

WILLMAR — Slashed tires on a vehicle were reported around 3:25 a.m. Thursday along the 1400 block of Fifth Street Southwest.

District Court

Kandiyohi County

- Jason Richard Meyer, 30, of Willmar, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a felony charge of fifth-degree drug possession and a gross misdemeanor for possessing a pistol or assault weapon after being convicted of a felony.

As part of a plea agreement, another felony for storing meth paraphernalia in the presence of a child will be dismissed. He will be sentenced May 15.

The charges were filed after 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.

- Jill Louise Pochardt, 28, of New London, made her first appearance Wednesday on a felony charge of theft by check and a misdemeanor charge of falsely reporting a crime.

Her next appearance is April 1.

According to the complaint, a Willmar Police officer was dispatched on July 6 to Accessories 4 Trucks regarding a bad check written to the business. The owner reported that a check for $270.33 had been written on a Wells Fargo Bank account belonging to Pochardt.

Two people, Amanda Rose Watnaas, 23, and Eric Michael Skindelien, 28, both of Clara City, were charged with check forgery for writing the check, plus other bad checks for a total of $2,559.44 between May 24 and June 19 at businesses in Willmar, Spicer and Paynesville.

The investigation revealed that Pochardt had reported that Watnaas had been given permission to write one check on her checking account, but that Watnaas had written more checks. However, Watnaas and Skindelien told investigators that Pochardt gave Watnaas the checks and allowed Watnaas to sign Pochardt’s name. In fact, they said Pochardt was with them when they wrote the bad checks.

Both Watnaas and Skindelin pleaded guilty to theft by check, admitting that they knew there wasn’t money in the account to cover the purchases.

The pair was charged with forgery because of the false information provided by Pochardt.

- Liliana Sanchez Hernandez, 32, of Willmar, made her first appearance Wednesday on three felony charges of fifth-degree drug possession for possessing 77 grams of marijuana and 631 grams of synthetic cannabinoid and for the sale of synthetic cannabinoid.

Her next appearance is April 1.

She also faces a gross misdemeanor charge of child endangerment, a misdemeanor count of possession of synthetic cannabinoid and a petty misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Sanchez Hernandez and Angel Hernandez, 32, of Willmar, are charged in the case. Hernandez faces four felony charges of possession of a pistol or assault weapon by a convicted felon, drug possession and receiving stolen property, gross misdemeanor charges of possessing synthetic cannabinoid with intent to sell and child endangerment, plus a petty misdemeanor for possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to the criminal complaints, CEEVI Drug Task Force members served the warrant around 1 a.m. Jan. 9 in Regency Estates West and located evidence that Hernandez was buying incense via the Internet and using the incense to make synthetic marijuana.

Officers served the warrant and were met by Hernandez at the door of the trailer. He was taken into custody and officers found $22,160 in cash in his pockets. Hernandez told officers that Sanchez Hernandez was at work at a retail store in Willmar. An 18-month-old child was also at the home, in a chair that was 1 foot away from controlled substances.

The search revealed more cash, the marijuana and synthetic cannabinoid in multiple places in the home, narcotic medications, multiple pieces of drug paraphernalia including a water bong on the kitchen window sill, digital scales, shipping boxes and envelopes, a metal detector, a “Whizzanator” and the .38-caliber Ruger, which was hidden in the video cassette case for a “Lord of the Flies” movie. The serial number on the gun traced back to a gun reported stolen in April 2012.

Sanchez Hernandez was interviewed by family services officials on Jan. 11 and allegedly admitted that she has no concerns about Hernandez using drugs and being high around her children. She allegedly admitted that she smoked marijuana but doesn’t use synthetic cannabinoid. She wouldn’t answer questions about where the drugs were located in the home or if she had a role in the drug dealing.

- Johnny Juan Molina, 28, of Willmar, made his first appearance Thursday on a felony charge of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle for allegedly fleeing Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s deputies on Wednesday afternoon.

Unconditional bail was set at $15,000. His next appearance is April 4.

Molina also faces misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and driving after revocation.

According to the complaint, two deputies were in an unmarked squad car on Wednesday afternoon, going north on First Street, when they recognized Molina driving another vehicle. The deputies knew Molina was wanted on arrest warrants and attempted to stop his vehicle. Molina instead fled through the parking lots in the Kandi Mall area and then northbound on Second Street Southeast. He stopped and surrendered when a CEE-VI Drug Task Force agent approached his vehicle from the north.

- Juan Gabriel Martin, 29, of Willmar, made his first appearance on a felony charge of escape from custody for allegedly leaving his community work service assignment on Jan. 29.

Unconditional bail was set at $20,000. His next appearance is April 18.

According to the complaint, jail officials reported around 9 p.m. that Martin hadn’t returned from his work service location. He had reported to the community service building at 7:30 a.m., worked on the snow removal crew and then at removing decals from a squad car, but then left the building in the afternoon and did not return to the location.

Martin was serving 60 days of jail time on a domestic assault conviction.

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