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Man pleads to forgery counts after Wal-Mart incident


WILLMAR -- Edil Pineda Santos, 24, of Willmar, pleaded guilty Thursday to felony charges of forgery and aggravated forgery for using the identity of another person.

Santos, who is also known as Omar David Sanchez Melendez and Ericberto Pineda, was arrested July 5 for assaulting a woman at Wal-Mart Supercenter in Willmar.

The subsequent in-vestigation by police re-vealed he was using at least one false name.

As part of a plea ag-reement in Kandiyohi County District Court, five additional felony charges for aggravated forgery, forgery and terroristic threats, plus two misdemeanor charges for assault and domestic assault, will be dismissed. He will be sentenced Sept. 13.

The charges were filed after Willmar police were called around 10:30 p.m. July 5 regarding a domestic incident at Wal-Mart Supercenter. A woman reported she'd driven Santos, whom she knew as Melendez, to the store. He went inside and purchased groceries while she waited in the car. When she picked him up, he accused her of talking with other men and cheating on him.

An argument ensued and the woman said he pushed and choked her, and threatened to stab her. The woman reported she'd driven Santos to a home on the southeast side of town, where he took the groceries and got out of the car. She locked the doors of the car and left. Officers returned to the home and found Santos, who denied an altercation with the woman.

He admitted his real name was Ericberto Pineda and that he'd gotten a state identification card in the Melendez name in September 2007 and used it to work at Jennie-O Turkey Store and Willmar Poultry.

He admitted to buying the identification card for $600 from a man in Willmar. Later, he said his real name was Edil Pineda Santos and that the Pineda name was a nickname. He claimed a 1993 birth date, which conflicted with information the woman gave indicating he was between 20 and 22 years of age.

Employment documents were provided by officials at Jennie-O Foods, including documents signed in the Melendez name in June 2008. The Melendez identification card and Puerto Rican birth certificate accompanied the documents.

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. 

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