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

This is the records summary for April 11.

Grove City man hurt in ATV crash

COSMOS — A 58-year-old Grove City man was taken by ambulance to Meeker Memorial Hospital for treatment of injuries sustained in an all-terrain vehicle crash around 5:15 p.m. Wednesday.

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According to the Meeker County Sheriff’s office, emergency responders responded to intersection of Northern Cross Avenue and Neptune Street in Cosmos, where Ferd Schauman had been injured when the 2005 Polaris Sportsman he was driving rolled over when he lost control of the ATV.

The crash is under investigation.

Law conducting extra patrols for distracted driving

WILLMAR — Area law enforcement agencies will conduct extra patrols from today through April 20 in an effort to reduce the number of motor vehicle crashes that result in injuries or death due to the drivers being distracted.

The Atwater, Benson and Willmar police departments and the Kandiyohi, Swift and Meeker county sheriff’s offices will look for drivers who are distracted by reaching for items, fiddling with radio/music/vehicle controls, eating/drinking, dealing with rowdy passengers, grooming and other distracting activities.

Distracted driving is a leading crash factor, and motorists are urged to pay attention behind the wheel. Officers are highlighting the issue during the prom and graduation seasons due to the fact that in the last three years distracted teen drivers were involved in crashes that resulted in 25 deaths and 4,505 injuries.

Driver distraction is a leading crash factor in Minnesota, accounting for around 20 percent of all crashes annually, resulting in at least 70 deaths and 350 injuries, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety.

In Minnesota, it is illegal for drivers to read, compose or send texts/emails, and access the Web on a wireless device while the vehicle is in motion or a part of traffic, such as at a stoplight or stuck in traffic. It is also illegal for drivers under age 18 to use a cell phone at any time.

“Your focus behind the wheel is far more important than the text message you are sending or reading behind the wheel,” says Willmar Police Chief David Wyffels. “Drivers need to make a serious effort to recognize and limit dangerous and unnecessary distractions, and passengers need speak up to stop and prevent drivers from texting.”

Arrest

WILLMAR — A 28-year-old man was arrested on charges of driving while impaired around 11:20 p.m. Wednesday near the intersection of Highway 12 and Benson Avenue Southwest.

Theft

WILLMAR — The theft of a laptop and clothing was reported around 1:15 p.m. Thursday along the 1300 block of Litchfield Avenue Southeast.

District Court, Kandiyohi County

- Jessica Vanessa Jimenez, 22, and Rodney Gene Vega Jr., 24, of Willmar, both made their first court appearances Wednesday on a felony charge of fifth-degree drug possession and for storing drug paraphernalia in the presence of children.

Unconditional bail was set at $10,000 for each defendant. Jimenez’s next appearance is June 18 and Vega’s next hearing is April 21.

According to the complaints, CEE-VI Drug Task Force agents served a search warrant on Jan. 22 on the couple’s home along the 2100 block of 21st Avenue Southwest.

The items found in the home included plastic bags containing 0.1 grams of meth, marijuana and drug paraphernalia where three minor children were also living.

n Carlton Michael Eliason, 23, of Willmar, made his first court appearance Wednesday on three felony charges of second- and third-degree assault and domestic assault by strangulation.

Unconditional bail was set at $25,000. His next appearance is April 21.

Eliason also faces a misdemeanor charge of domestic assault.

According to the complaint, Willmar Police were called to the emergency room at Rice Memorial Hospital on March 5 regarding a man who had been hit in the head with a bat. The man said he’d gone to a residence to confront Eliason about abusing a woman and that Eliason had hit him in the head with an object he believed to be a bat.

The woman told officers that she had argued with Eliason and that he had assaulted her and attempted to strangle her with his hands.

- Terrance Jonathan Savoy, 24, of Spicer, was sentenced Thursday to one year and one day in prison, which was stayed, 180 days in jail, a $2,000 fine and 10 years of probation on a fifth-degree drug sale for selling 2.9 grams of marijuana to an informant for the CEE-VI Drug Task Force.

The charge was filed after the informant told drug task force agents on July 9 that the informant could buy an eighth ounce of marijuana from Savoy. They met near the intersection of Ann Street and Becker Avenue Southeast and completed the deal in a vehicle. The informant handed over a bag of marijuana that weighed 2.9 grams and identified Savoy by a photo. Agents observing the purchase also recognized Savoy.

- Martin Hernandez, 30, of Willmar, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a felony charge of storing drug paraphernalia in the presence of children.

As part of a plea agreement, another felony of second-degree drug sale or possession of drugs will be dismissed. Sentencing is set for May 14.

Hernandez was one of four people charged in the case. The next appearance for Isabel Hernandez, 26, is May 12. Jose Juan Rodriguez, 27, is scheduled to appear on May 14 and Andrea Nicole Hernandez, 25, has a hearing on May 28.

According to court records, officers from the Willmar Police Department and agents from the CEE-VI drug and gang task force executed a search warrant Feb. 4 at a home in the 1700 block of Seventh Avenue Southeast in Willmar.

The four adults lived at the home along with four children from ages 3 to 9, according to the court file. The search occurred while the children were at school, and they were placed in the custody of Kandiyohi County Family Services.

The search yielded 14 grams of methamphetamine and 11.8 grams of marijuana. Also found were drug paraphernalia, small baggies, a digital scale and a sheet detailing payments and debts related to drug sales.

The defendants allegedly told investigators that they smoked meth in the house and the attached garage and that Rodriguez had been selling meth and marijuana from the house.

- Brandon Alvin Mead, 29, of Willmar, pleaded guilty Thursday to an amended charge of third-degree drug possession for drugs found in a residence in August.

As part of a plea agreement, three additional felony drug charges will be dismissed. No sentencing date was available Thursday.

Mead was one of three people charged in the case. Stacey Joann Pederson, 27, of Willmar, was sentenced Monday to 45 days in jail, a $1,500 fine and 10 years of probation. Vanessa Ramirez, 27, of Litchfield, is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.

According to the complaints, on August 28 a citizen provided information to Willmar police that Pederson and others were smoking drugs in the basement of a residence and that Pederson had been told to leave the home and not return to the home. The owner of the property wanted the police to get the group out of the house. In addition, the information included that a 9-year-old child was at the home and unsupervised while the adults were using drugs.

Officers went to the home and were met by a 12-year-old child, who informed Pederson that she needed to come to the door. Police officers entered the basement to find Ramirez and Mead, who grabbed an item off a desk and threw it onto the floor. The officer noted that the item was a bag of what was suspected to be meth. There was drug paraphernalia visible to the officers.

CEE-VI Drug Task Force agents were called in, petitioned for and received a search warrant and executed the warrant on the property. Agents found that the bag on the floor contained 12.5 grams of meth, that there were multiple other bags containing meth or traces of meth, marijuana, mushrooms, a digital scale and 50-gram weight that contained traces of meth, and drug pipes and paraphernalia.

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