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Willmar, Minn., man avoids a 13-year sentence, but must complete chemical dependency program

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

WILLMAR -- Juan Angel Guevara, 32, of Willmar, was sentenced Monday to 161 months in prison, which was stayed, 20 years of probation, 207 days in the county jail and $2,000 in fines on first- and second-degree drug sale and possession charges for selling methamphetamine to a CEE-VI Drug Task Force informant.

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The 13½-year prison sentence -- a "downward departure," or less severe sentence than the state's sentencing guidelines recommend -- was stayed after District Judge Michael J. Thompson granted Guevara's motion seeking admission to the Teen Challenge chemical dependency treatment program instead of the prison sentence.

Guevara was granted credit for 207 days already served in the county jail. As part of a plea agreement, one felony charge for assaulting a peace officer and gross misdemeanor charges of assaulting an officer and obstructing the legal process were dismissed.

The first-degree sale charge was filed after the informant told a CEE-VI agent on Jan. 19 that he could buy meth from a man he knew as "Nee Nee." The officers recognized the nickname as one used by Guevara and had the informant identify Guevara in a photo.

The informant purchased 6.8 grams of meth Jan. 19 and 7.4 grams Jan. 26. Both deals happened at Guevara's home along the 700 block of Fifth Street Southwest.

The possession charge was filed after Feb. 24, when CEE-VI Drug Task Force agents went to a Willmar residence in an attempt to locate Guevara, who was wanted on a warrant from the Department of Corrections.

Guevara attempted to flee when he was notified that the agents were there to arrest him and fought against them when they attempted to handcuff him.

He kicked one of the agents in the chest and the stomach, damaging the officer's radio and cell phone, and scratched another agents hand during the resistance.

A search of Guevara revealed 9.4 grams of meth, a total of $1,279 in cash and a digital scale with meth residue.

Guevara had previous convictions for fifth-degree drug possession in November 2002 and two first-degree drug sale convictions in 2007 in Meeker and Kandiyohi counties.

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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. 

(320) 214-4373
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