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Willmar man, 25, pleads to two drug charges

WILLMAR -- Esteban J. "Stevie" Ramos Jr., 25, of Willmar, pleaded guilty Monday to two third-degree drug sale charges for his role in selling methamphetamine to drug task force informants in February and in August 2009.

As part of a plea agreement reached in Kandiyohi County District Court, the charges were reduced from first- and second-degree level and two additional charges will be dismissed -- fifth-degree drug possession and weapons possession by someone convicted of a violent crime. He will be sentenced Dec. 3.

Ramos and Jared John Netzke, 22, of New Ulm, were charged after the Feb. 17 incident. Netzke was sentenced in May to 120 days in jail, a $1,500 fine and 20 years of probation on third-degree drug possession for his role in the drug sale.

The charges were filed against the men after a confidential informant for the Brown-Lyon-Redwood Drug Task Force informed agents that he could buy meth from Netzke, but that they had to go to Willmar to get the drugs.

The informant was provided with $800 for the purchase and drove Netzke to Regency West Estates in Willmar. There, Ramos sold Netzke the drugs. While they were driving back to Brown County, the vehicle was stopped and searched. The meth was located in a compact disc case. Netzke agreed to cooperate with agents and told them he had purchased the drugs from Ramos in the trailer court.

CEE-VI Drug Task Force agents were granted a search warrant for Ramos' trailer home.

Agents entered the home to find Ramos hiding in the shower with a bag of marijuana at his feet.

They also noted the toilet had been flushed, with the bowl still filling with water. They found three plastic bags with less than a quarter-gram of meth in them in Ramos' pocket.

They also found a digital scale with meth residue and a .22-caliber handgun and magazine.

The charges for the Aug. 20, 2009, drug sale were filed after an informant purchased a total of 12.7 grams of meth from Ramos in three separate purchases along the 1600 block of U.S. Highway 12 East and in the park next to Lincoln Elementary School.

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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