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Willmar man gets 60 months on gun possession, drug charges

WILLMAR -- Eric Flores, 25, of Willmar, was sentenced Wednesday to 60 months in prison and $100 in fines on drug and weapons possession charges for possessing meth and a rifle when he was stopped by Willmar police in March.

The sentence was handed down by Judge Michael J. Thompson in Kandiyohi County District Court. Flores was given credit for 102 days already served.

As part of a plea agreement, the drug charge was reduced from second-degree to third-degree and two felony charges of first-degree drugs -- manufacture of methamphetamine and firearms possession, plus two misdemeanor charges, were dismissed.

The charges were filed after a Willmar police officer was on patrol around 4:30 p.m. March 14 along Willmar Avenue and observed a vehicle driven by a man he recognized as Flores.

The officer suspected Flores was driving without a valid license and was wanted on a warrant. Flores waved to the officer as he passed.

The officer followed the vehicle, confirmed with dispatch that Flores was wanted on a warrant in a domestic assault case and stopped the vehicle.

The officer smelled marijuana and searched Flores and the vehicle, locating $295 in Flores' pocket, 19 grams of meth in the vehicle and an SKS assault rifle in the trunk.

The officer also located a magazine of rifle ammunition and boxes of ammunition and brass knuckles in the vehicle.

Flores' criminal history includes convictions for felony assault of a peace officer in October 2005, possession of a dangerous weapon in March 2006 and burglary in July 2007.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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