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Willmar, Minn., man pleads to drug sales; faces 12 years in prison

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News Willmar,Minnesota 56201 http://www.wctrib.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/fieldimages/1/1130/20121024skaalerudjaime.jpg?itok=ayM6LH6l
West Central Tribune
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Willmar, Minn., man pleads to drug sales; faces 12 years in prison
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

WILLMAR -- Jaime Jon Roberg Skaalerud, 35, of Willmar, pleaded guilty Monday to a first-degree drug sale charge for his role in selling methamphetamine and marijuana to a CEE-VI Drug Task Force informant in December and January.

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As part of a plea agreement, a felony charge of possession of a pistol or assault weapon after conviction of a violent crime will be dismissed, and a motion for an increased sentence because of Skaalerud's long criminal history also will be dismissed. He will be sentenced, likely to 145 months in prison, on Nov. 27.

Skaalerud and two others were charged in connection to drug sales in Willmar. Edward Milton Braness, 34, of Willmar was sentenced Oct. 8 to 61 months in prison on a third-degree drug sale charge and Erica Lynn Busse, 23, of Bagley and formerly of Willmar, was sentenced Aug. 8 to 65 days in the county jail, a $500 fine and 15 years of probation on a fourth-degree drug sale charge.

The drug charges were filed after the trio was involved in a series of drug sales between Dec. 7 and Jan. 7 at a home along the 700 block of 11th Street Northwest.

The sales included 30 grams of marijuana on Dec. 7 and an estimated 3.4 grams of methamphetamine on Dec. 8.

The true weight of the meth was not recorded because the bag was dropped by an agent before it was properly weighed. The weight after some of the meth was lost was 2.7 grams.

The purchases also include the Dec. 22 sale of 6.5 grams of meth and the Jan. 7 sale of 7.8 grams of meth.

Skaalerud and Joseph Rojelio Juarez, 33, of Willmar, were both charged with being a felon in possession of a pistol/assault weapon after Jan. 25, when three Willmar police officers were called to Third Street and Monongalia Avenue Southwest on a report that someone had hit a vehicle and put a gun into another vehicle.

Juarez was sentenced in March on an amended gross misdemeanor charge to 365 days in jail, with credit for 78 days served and 287 days stayed, two years of probation and a $3,000 fine, of which $2,950 was stayed, in the case.

A man reported that Skaalerud, who was holding something wrapped in a coat, and several others had started a verbal altercation with him.

He reported that Skaalerud had gone inside and put the item in an apartment.

Skaalerud then continued the argument until a woman, who lived in the apartment, yelled at him that she did not want a gun near her children.

The man said that Juarez went into the residence, came out with the item, asked Skaalerud what he should do with it and then put into a nearby vehicle.

Both men were arrested at the scene and a .22-caliber rifle was located, wrapped in a Carhartt coat in the vehicle, with a full ammunition clip and a round in the chamber.

Skaalerud has six felony convictions for assault, receiving stolen property, violating an order for protection and drug possession since 1998.

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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. 

(320) 214-4373
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