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Willmar man pleads guilty to drug conspiracy charge in cocaine case linked to four others

WILLMAR -- Santos Pena Reyes, 39, of Willmar, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Kandiyohi County District Court to a first-degree drug sale conspiracy charge.

Reyes is one of five Willmar residents charged with drug sale and conspiracy charges for allegedly selling cocaine to a CEE-VI Drug Task Force informant last year and possessing cocaine found during the execution of a search warrant.

As part of a plea agreement, three other first-degree drug felonies, and a gross misdemeanor charge for possession of a weapon by a user of controlled substances, will be dismissed. He will be sentenced May 11. Nelda Sepulveda, 41, of Willmar, pleaded guilty on March 16 to a third-degree controlled substance conspiracy charge.

She will be sentenced April 21. Maira Alejandra Fernandez, 20, Gilberto Reyes III, 25, and Jadie Reyes, 18, all face two felony first-degree drug sale charges. Both Gilberto and Jadie make their next court appearances on April 22; Fernandez is scheduled for a jury trial on April 28.

According to the complaint against Santos Reyes and Sepulveda, a confidential informant for the drug task force purchased cocaine from them on seven occasions between August and November. The purchases were made with funds from by the task force.

Task force agents executed a search warrant Dec. 3 on the couple's Regency West home. The search revealed 12 grams of cocaine; $4,000 in cash, including two $100 bills that were recorded as used by the informant to purchase cocaine from Gilberto Reyes; a loaded .25-caliber handgun; gang photos of Santos Reyes; a U.S. Border Patrol shirt and badge; and a Rice Memorial Hospital identification card in Sepulveda's name.

Court documents identify the couple as Jadie Reyes' parents and Santos Reyes as an uncle to Gilbert Reyes III, who is identified as Fernandez' boyfriend.

According to the complaints against Gilberto Reyes and Fernandez, a confidential informant for the drug task force made six drug purchases from the couple between August and October at their home in Regency Estates West. Each purchase was made with funds provided by the task force and the drugs were turned over to agents after the deals were complete.

Agents served a search warrant on the home and found two small children, ages 3 and 2, at the home with another woman. Officers found drug-selling paraphernalia, scales, an "owe" sheet, a small amount of cash and 17 grams of cocaine in the home. Gilberto Reyes and Fernandez arrived during the search and were arrested.

According to the complaint against Jadie Reyes, she was present during one of six purchases made by the informant from Santos Reyes and Sepulveda.