Weather Forecast


Man, woman face drug charges after New Year's incident

1 / 2
2 / 2

WILLMAR -- Lance Joel Cameron, 27, of Willmar, and Vanessa Ramirez, 23, of Litchfield, made their first court appearances Monday on first-degree drug possession and sale charges for allegedly possessing 52 grams of methamphetamine found in their vehicle on New Year's Eve.

The drug search came after a police officer recognized Cameron's vehicle and followed him as he knew Cameron didn't have a valid driver's license.

Unconditional bail was set at $400,000 for Cameron, who also faces a gross misdemeanor charge of driving after cancellation -- inimical to public safety. Unconditional bail was set at $200,000 for Ramirez, with conditional bail for $10,000 cash. Both make their next court appearance Monday.

According to the complaint, a Willmar Police officer was on patrol around 9 p.m. Thursday when he observed a vehicle he recognized as belonging to man he had previously arrested for driving after cancellation -- inimical to public safety. As the vehicle passed, the officer recognized Cameron as the man he had previously arrested. The officer turned his squad car around and followed the vehicle, which turned onto a side street and spun out, coming to a stop in a snow bank. The officer checked the status of the passenger -- identified as Ramirez -- and then located Cameron nearby. Cameron ran from the officer. A stun gun was required to arrest him. Upon searching him, officers discovered Cameron was in possession of a gram of meth.

The vehicle was searched and officers found a total of 51 grams of meth inside multiple bags in a backpack. Also located was a scale and glass pipe with white residue.

Ramirez allegedly told the officer the only thing in the vehicle that belonged to her was her purse. She allowed him to search it. A total of $2,000 in cash was found in the purse. Officers also found $1,928 on Cameron.

A review of Cameron's criminal history shows third-degree drug convictions in November 2000 and April 2006. Ramirez, who was wanted on an outstanding warrant from Meeker County, has a third-degree drug conviction from October 2009 in Meeker 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. 

(320) 214-4373