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Willmar man charged with selling half-ounce of meth

WILLMAR -- A 36-year-old Willmar man made his first court appearance Friday morning on a felony charge of first-degree sale of a controlled substance.

Earl Hoting is accused of making two sales of methamphetamine to an informant for the CEE-VI Drug Task Force last year. The total weight of the methamphetamine he sold was about 5/8 of an ounce.

In a hearing in Kandiyohi County District Court, Judge Michael Thompson set bail at $250,000 cash or bond for unconditional release and $125,000 cash or bond for conditional release.

Hoting's next court hearing is scheduled for April 12.

According to the court file, Hoting also has a previous felony-level controlled substance conviction from June 2007.

According to the court file, Hoting had allegedly offered to sell an ounce of methamphetamine to a confidential informant. However, at a meeting arranged on July 15, 2009, Hoting is reported to have said that his supplier had not arrived yet, so he couldn't sell a full ounce.

He did allegedly sell 3.5 grams, about one-eighth of an ounce, to the informant, according to the criminal complaint filed in court. Hoting also allegedly offered to make a bigger sale later in the day, when he offered to sell a half-ounce of meth for $1,000.

Both alleged drug purchases were made by an informant, using cash from the task force. The incidents were part of an ongoing CEE-VI investigation.

During a January search of Hoting's home, authorities discovered a small scale with remnants of methamphetamine on it. Hoting was interviewed by law enforcement in January and was arrested this week.

According to the criminal complaint Hoting at first said he had used meth in the past but had not used it for years and had never sold it. The complaint says that he later said he did recall selling the drugs to the informant in July.

Linda Vanderwerf

I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.

Follow me on Twitter: @lindavanderwerf

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