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Skaalerud, Braness face charges for selling meth

WILLMAR -- Two Willmar men made their first court appearances Tuesday on drug sale charges for allegedly selling methamphetamine and marijuana to CEE-VI informants in December and January.

Jaime Jon Roberg Skaalerud, 34, faces one first-degree and one fifth-degree sale count. His unconditional bail was set at $500,000.

Edward Milton Braness, 34, faces a second-degree drug sale charge. His unconditional bail was set at $200,000.

Both men make their next appearance on March 26 in Kandiyohi County District Court.

A warrant was issued Monday for Erica Lynn Busse, 23, of Willmar, who faces a second-degree drug sale charge in the case.

According to the complaints against Skaalerud and Braness, CEE-VI agents and informants made multiple drug purchases between Dec. 7 and Jan. 7 from Skaalerud, with Braness and Busse participating in the sales, at Skaalerud's home along the 700 block of 11th Street Northwest.

The complaint notes that Skaalerud was under house arrest and electronic monitoring while he was allegedly making the drug sales. He also faces a felony charge of possession of a pistol or assault weapon after conviction of a violent crime, filed after a Jan. 25 altercation in Willmar. He entered a not guilty plea to that charge on Feb. 22 and has a pre-trial hearing on April 4.

The drug sales included 30 grams of marijuana on Dec. 7 and an estimated 3.4 grams methamphetamine on Dec. 8. The true weight of the meth was not recorded because the bag was dropped by an agent before it was properly weighed. The weight after some of the meth was lost was 2.7 grams.

The purchases also include the sale of 6.5 grams of meth on Dec. 22, with Braness participating in the sale, and the sale of 7.8 grams of meth on Jan. 7, with Busse involved in the deal.

Skaalerud has two prior convictions, for fourth- and fifth-degree drug crimes in 2009 in Stearns County. Braness has two prior convictions for fifth-degree drug possession in 2004 and 2007 in Kandiyohi County.

Braness pleaded not guilty on Jan. 30 to two felony charges of fifth-degree drug possession and for storing meth paraphernalia in the presence of a child, filed after CEE-VI agents served a search warrant Jan. 4 on a southwest Willmar residence and found meth, marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

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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