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Willmar woman pleads guilty to lesser charge in cocaine case

WILLMAR -- Nelda Sepulveda, 41, of Willmar, pleaded guilty Monday in Kandiyohi County District Court to a third-degree controlled substance conspiracy charge.

As part of a plea agreement, the charge was lowered from a first-degree count and three other first-degree drug sale and conspiracy charges, along with a gross misdemeanor charge for possession of a weapon by a user of controlled substances, will be dismissed. She will be sentenced April 21. Sepulveda is one of five Willmar residents charged with drug sale and conspiracy charges for allegedly selling cocaine to a CEE-VI Drug Task Force informant on multiple occasions last year and possessing cocaine found during the execution of a search warrant.

Santos Pena Reyes, 39, faces the same set of charges as Sepulveda and is scheduled for an April 7 jury trial. Maira Alejandra Fernandez, 20, Gilberto Reyes III, 25, and Jadie Reyes, 18, all face two felony first-degree drug sale charges.

Both Gil-berto and Jadie make their next court ap-pearances on April 22; Fernandez is scheduled for a jury trial on April 28.

According to the complaint against Santos Reyes and Sepulveda, a confidential informant for the drug task force purchased cocaine from them on seven occasions between August and November. The purchases were made with funds provided by the task force.

Task force agents executed a search warrant Dec. 3 on the couple's Regency West home. The search revealed 12 grams of cocaine; $4,000 in cash, including two $100 bills that were recorded as used by the informant to purchase cocaine from Gilberto Reyes; a loaded .25-caliber handgun; gang photos of Santos Reyes; a U.S. Border Patrol shirt and badge; and a Rice Memorial Hospital identification card in Sepulveda's name.

Court documents identify the couple as Jadie Reyes' parents and Santos Reyes as an uncle to Gilbert Reyes III, who is identified as Fernandez' boyfriend.

According to the complaints against Gilberto Reyes and Fernandez, a confidential informant for the drug task force made six drug purchases from the couple between August and October at their home in Regency Estates West. Each purchase was made with funds provided by the task force and the drugs were turned over to agents after the deals were complete.

Agents served a search warrant on the home and found two small children, ages 3 and 2, at the home with another woman. Officers found drug-selling paraphernalia, scales, an "owe" sheet, a small amount of cash and 17 grams of cocaine in the home. Both Gilberto Reyes and Fernandez arrived during the search and were arrested.

According to the complaint against Jadie Reyes, she was present during one of six purchases made by the informant from Santos Reyes and Sepulveda.

Willmar woman pleads to lesser charge in cocaine case