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Family members charged in alleged scheme to prevent arrest

WILLMAR -- A husband and wife appeared in court Friday on felony charges related to an alleged scheme to prevent the arrest of the man's brother.

The couple is alleged to have made a false crime report in order to divert law enforcement officers' attention from efforts to arrest the brother.

Erik Ozornia, 21, and Jessica Marie Ozornia, 19, of Willmar, both face two felony charges for aiding an offender, along with misdemeanor charges of falsely reporting a crime and obstructing the legal process for their roles in the Wednesday incident. Bail was set at $30,000 for each. Both make their next appearance in Kandiyohi County District Court on April 19.

Meanwhile, Emi-lio Ozornia, 25, of Willmar, who is Erik's brother, made his first appearance on a first-degree controlled substance charge for allegedly selling 17.5 grams of methamphetamine to a CEE-VI Drug Task Force informant in January. His unconditional bail was set at $600,000. No conditional bail was set. His next appearance is April 16.

According to the complaint against Emilio, a CEE-VI informant allegedly purchased the drugs from him on Jan. 7, 15 and 26 at his home in Willmar. The informant identified Ozornia as the man he bought the meth from by his driver's license photo.

According to the complaints against Erik and Jessica Ozornia, CEE-VI agents went to a rural Willmar home around 1:15 p.m. Wednesday to apprehend Emilio on the felony drug charge and a probation violation arrest warrant. The resident of the home told officers he was not there, but they continued their surveillance of the home.

Meanwhile, the officers received a call from dispatch that there was a large fight, with men with baseball bats busting out car windows at Regency Estates West. Other officers responded to the location, where there was no fight.

Officers traced the phone number reporting the fight back to Jessica's phone and called it. She answered and handed over the phone to Erik when she learned the nature of the call. Erik allegedly said that he had seen his brother in the trailer park and wanted him picked up for his own good, as he was high on drugs.

A search warrant was served on the home, and Emilio was arrested.

Officers interviewed Jessica, who said first she let some strange person who was walking their dog use her phone and then said that there were many people in the home who could have used the phone. Then she allegedly admitted to making the call to divert officers away from Emilio so that he could get away. When interviewed, Erik allegedly told a completely different story than Jessica, and refused to talk further with officers when he was told what she had said.

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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