WILLMAR -- Two Willmar women made their first court appearances Friday on drug charges for allegedly receiving more than 10 pounds of marijuana in the mail.
Ana Patricia Gutierrez, 27, and Vanessa Marie Garza, 19, both face fifth-degree drug sale and possession charges. Unconditional bail was set at $20,000 for each. Conditional was allowed for $10,000. Both make their next appearance on Oct. 5.
According to the complaint, a CEE-VI Drug Task Force agent received information Wednesday from a U.S. Postal Service inspector that two suspicious packages, addressed to two Willmar residences, were suspected of containing slightly more than 10 pounds of marijuana.
The postal inspector delivered the first package to a home where Gutierrez signed for one and put it into a vehicle in the driveway. Later, she and Garza drove and were stopped by the Willmar police. A search of Gutierrez's purse revealed receipts for money orders for $450 and $700 and a slip of paper containing the Express Mail tracking numbers for the packages. The second package was also delivered to another address.
Search warrants were served on both homes. At the second address, a woman said that Garza had called about receiving the package, which was located in a bedroom. At the first address, officers located another money order receipt for $250.
Both women were arrested and taken to the Law Enforcement Center. Garza allegedly admitted she knew the package of marijuana was sent to her and that Gutierrez was also receiving a package. She also allegedly admitted to sending the money orders and knowing they were payments for the pot.