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Woman pleads to lower charge for selling meth to informant

WILLMAR -- Erica Lynn Busse, 23, of Bagley and formerly of Willmar, pleaded guilty Tuesday to an amended charge of fourth-degree drug sale for her role in selling methamphetamine to a CEE-VI informant in January.

As part of a plea agreement, the charge was reduced from a second-degree sale count. She will be sentenced Aug. 6.

Busse and two others are charged in connection to drug sales in Willmar. Jaime Jon Roberg Skaalerud, 34, faces one first-degree and one fifth-degree sale count. His next appearance is July 23. Edward Milton Braness, 34, also faces a second-degree drug sale charge. His next appearance is Aug. 13.

According to the complaint against Busse, a CEE-VI informant purchased 7.8 grams of meth for $600 from Skaalerud on Jan. 7, meeting at a home along the 700 block of 11th Street

Northwest. Skaalerud allegedly took the money for the drugs, and Busse later handed over the meth to the informant.

The sale was one of several drug purchases made by CEE-VI agents and informants between Dec. 7 and Jan. 7 from Skaalerud, Braness and Busse.

The complaint against Skaalerud notes that he was under house arrest and electronic monitoring while he was allegedly making the drug sales. 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 Dec. 22, with Braness participating in the sale.

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.

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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