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Sentencing set for Willmar, Minn., man after he pleads to multiple felonies

WILLMAR — David Lawrence Pillatzki Jr., 36, of Willmar, pleaded guilty Wednesday to three felony charges for possessing a firearm after conviction of a violent crime, for fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle and for fifth-degree drug possession.

Pillatzki also pleaded guilty in Kandiyohi County District Court to two gross misdemeanor charges of driving after cancellation – inimical to public safety.

He will be sentenced April 15. Several other charges will be dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

The gun charge was filed after a CEE-VI agent located a video clip on Pillatzki’s Facebook page in December that showed Pillatzki firing a semi-automatic, assault-type rifle in a rural setting. Pillatzki admitted to investigators that he shot the rifle, an M16 or AR-15 type rifle, at a rural area near Hawick in the summertime and that someone recorded the activity and posted it on the social networking site.

The fleeing charge, plus one of the driving after cancellation charges, was filed after Nov. 13, when Pillatzki fled from a Kandiyohi County sheriff’s deputy on a motorcycle at speeds reaching 80 mph between Spicer and New London. According to the complaint, a deputy sheriff was attempting to serve a subpoena and an arrest warrant on Pillatzki.

When the officer neared Pillatzki’s home in Spicer, he saw a man on a motorcycle that the officer suspected belonged to Pillatzki because the officer had seen the cycle at Pillatzki’s home. The deputy activated the lights on his squad vehicle, attempting to stop the cycle, which sped away through yards, parking lots and around houses before going northbound on Highway 23. The pursuit reached speeds of 80 mph before turning into New London. The officer caught Pillatzki along Third Avenue Southeast after Pillatzki hit a curb, wiped out on the cycle and attempted to run away.

The drug possession charge was filed after CEE-VI Drug Task Force agents served a search warrant last April on a Spicer residence where Pillatzki was living and found 2.7 grams of meth, more than $1,000 cash, marijuana, drug paraphernalia, narcotic pain pills and surveillance equipment.

The second charge for driving after cancellation was filed after Jan. 1, when CEE-VI Drug Task Force Agents arrested Pillatzki on a warrant. The arrest happened in New London.

Pillatzki was convicted of second-degree burglary in 1996 and first-degree driving while impaired in July 2008.

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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