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This is the records summary for Dec. 19.

Litchfield woman hurt in Monday afternoon crash east of Willmar

WILLMAR — A 37-year-old Litchfield woman was taken by ambulance to Rice Memorial Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries sustained in a rollover crash around 1 p.m. Monday east of Willmar.

According to the State Patrol, the vehicle that Christina Marie Wettstein was driving ran off the roadway of U.S. Highway 12 near 41th Street Northeast and rolled. Wettstein thought she fell asleep while driving.

Crash north of Willmar under investigation

WILLMAR — A two-vehicle crash just before 11 a.m. Tuesday morning north of Willmar remains under investigation by the State Patrol.

According to the Patrol, a vehicle driven by Krista Marie Dowdey, 32, of Spicer, collided with a vehicle driven by Dustin Andrew Backman, 29, from Willmar at U.S. Highway 71 and 37th Avenue Northeast.

No life-threatening injuries were sustained by either driver, who were both wearing seat belts.  No injuries were reported to Dowdey’s three-year-old passenger who was buckled in a car seat.

Thieves take $4,000 of copper wire near Forest City in Meeker Co.

FOREST CITY — Thieves stripped approximately 1,700 feet of copper wire off of an irrigation system, taking approximately $4,000 of wire from the rural Forest City property over the weekend.

According to the Meeker County Sheriff’s office, the theft was reported around 10 a.m. Monday in a field south of State Highway 24 near 650th Avenue in Forest City Township.

The property owner had recently replaced his irrigation system and had 10 sections of the old irrigator in a field. The theft happened over the weekend, between Saturday and Monday.

Approximately 850 feet of half-inch-diameter copper wire, which contained ten individual 10-gauge copper wires inside, and 850 feet of electrical 12-2 wire was taken off of the irrigation system. The approximate value of wire taken was $4,000.

Sheriff Jeff Norlin advises everyone to continue to call the Sheriff’s Office or local police department if they see suspicious persons or vehicles, especially in areas where copper, or scrap items may be. This includes areas where new construction may be occurring as well, power lines, pole replacement, or trenching operations may be occurring. Norlin also adds that calling 911 in these situations is an appropriate use of the 911 system.


WILLMAR — A case of credit card fraud was reported around 4:50 p.m. Monday along the 300 block of Second Street Southwest. A person’s credit card had been used in California.

District Court

Kandiyohi County

- Abel Ricardo Mendoza III, 25, of Willmar, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a felony charge of fifth-degree assault for hitting a man in the head with a beer bottle during a bar fight.

As part of a plea agreement, another felony for third-degree assault will be dismissed. He will be sentenced Jan. 16.

The charges were filed after June 9, when Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s deputies were called around 1:30 a.m. to Zorbaz in Spicer regarding a fight. A man was bleeding from his face and said he’d been hit in the head with a beer bottle. The man said he didn’t know who hit him during the argument that led to a fight involving 10 to 15 people. The owner of the bar identified Mendoza as the perpetrator.

 Mendoza has two prior convictions for assault, both in March of this year in Kandiyohi County.

- Joseph Balboa, 27, of Willmar, pleaded guilty Monday to a felony charge of fifth-degree drug possession.

As part of a plea agreement, three additional felony charges for drug sale, for storing methamphetamine paraphernalia in the presence of a child and for selling synthetic cannabinoid will be dismissed. He will be sentenced Jan. 22.

Balboa and Amanda Michelle Garberding, 28, of Willmar, both face the same four felony charges in the case. Her next appearance is Jan. 3.

According to the complaints, a confidential informant for the CEEVI Drug Task Force allegedly arranged the purchase of 15.3 grams of marijuana from Balboa on Sept. 13 at his residence. The informant went to the home and bought the drugs from Garberding.

 On Oct. 5, task force agents performed a garbage search on the home and found drug paraphernalia and baggies with cut corners, a sign that the bags are used for drugs.

 On Thursday, agents executed a search warrant on the residence and arrested Balboa. They located paraphernalia with meth and synthetic cannabinoid residue.

 Garberding came to the residence and was arrested. Also located in the home during the search were two young children, ages 1 and 2.