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Lake Lillian, Minn., man and St. Paul teen facing charges for possessing drugs, stolen gun

WILLMAR -- Justin Paul Nelson, 25, of Lake Lillian, made his first court appearance Monday on felony charges of fifth-degree drug possession, receiving stolen property, possession of a weapon by a person convicted of a violent crime and for storing methamphetamine paraphernalia in the presence of a child or vulnerable adult.

Unconditional bail was set at $50,000. His next appearance is Jan. 3 in Kandiyohi County District Court. Nelson also faces petty misdemeanors for possession of drug paraphernalia and a small amount of marijuana.

Nelson and a juvenile, Steven Anthony Aguilar-Mota, 17, of St. Paul, are charged in the case. Aguilar-Mota faces juvenile charges for a fifth-degree drug possession and receiving stolen property. The teen was ordered held at Prairie Lakes Youth Programs. His next appearance is Nov. 27.

Felony charges against 16- and 17-year-old juveniles are public record.

According to the complaint against Nelson, CEE-VI Drug Task Force agents were conducting a follow-up investigation Thursday afternoon in the parking lot of the Lakeview Inn, along Business 71 North in Willmar. They noticed a vehicle with loud music and recognized the driver of the vehicle as Johnny Juan Molina, 28, of Willmar. Molina was taken into custody for driving on a revoked license and was searched, revealing a pipe with methamphetamine residue. His next appearance on the resulting fifth-degree drug possession charge is Nov. 26.

In an effort to identify Aguilar-Mota, whom agents saw walk up to Molina's vehicle, the agents knocked on a nearby motel room door. Nelson opened the door and was arrested on a Department of Corrections warrant.

Based on the drug paraphernalia, digital scale with drug residue and ammunition in plain sight in the hotel room, the agents were granted a search warrant for the room. They located a stolen .357-caliber Magnum revolver under the bed, a small amount of methamphetamine and marijuana and $2,080 in cash.

The gun was traced as a weapon stolen in 2007 in Swift County. Nelson has a prior conviction for second-degree drug sale in 2010 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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