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Man, one of 5 charged for drug sales, gets 6 years in prison

WILLMAR -- Gilberto Reyes III, 25 of Willmar, one of five Willmar residents charged with drug sales and conspiracy, has been sentenced in Kandiyohi County District Court to serve 74 months in the state correctional facility in St. Cloud.

Reyes had pleaded guilty to felony first-degree sale of 10 grams or more of cocaine, heroin or methamphetamine within a 90-day period. As part of a plea agreement, another felony charge of first-degree sale of 10 grams or more of cocaine, heroin or methamphetamine within a 90-day period and a felony charge of permitting sale or possession or a controlled substance with a child present were dismissed.

In court Tuesday, Reyes was given credit by Judge Donald Spilseth for serving 65 days in jail and was ordered to pay $2,090 in fine and fees from prison earnings. Reyes was charged with selling cocaine with a delivered weight of 16.7 grams on seven occasions at this home in Regency Estates West from Aug. 1 through Oct. 16, 2008.

Reyes was the last of five residents to be sentenced on drug sale and conspiracy charges for selling cocaine to a CEE-VI Drug Task Force informant on multiple occasions last year and possessing cocaine during execution of a search warrant.

Reyes pled guilty on June 5 and the court ordered a presentence investigation. During the presentence investigation, Reyes claimed that he sold drugs because he was chemically dependent and was supporting his habit.

But Assistant County Attorney Connie Crowell said there was no evidence, such as needles or pipes, to support his claim.

Crowell said Reyes and his co-defendant and relative Santo Pena Reyes, 40, turned the Regency West Trailer Park into "drug central.''

"This was simply a matter of greed,'' Crowell said in an interview. Execution of the search warrant found packaging material, an "owe'' sheet telling how much he had sold and what was owed, and drug-selling paraphernalia.

"From our standpoint, we are very happy with the sentence,'' Crowell said.

She complimented the hard work and long investigation by law enforcement and drug task force agents that resulted in the convictions and sentences. She said the investigation required officers to "get out there and put their lives on the line, making these drug deals and setting up this investigation so that we could bring these folks to justice.''

Crowell said she hopes Regency West is a safer place to live and she reminded residents that law enforcement needs their cooperation.

David Little
David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
(320) 235-1150