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Willmar man gets 48 months for selling meth to informant

WILLMAR -- Christopher Ruiz, 24, of Willmar, was sentenced Thursday to 48 months in prison and a $1,000 fine on a second-degree drug sale charge for providing methamphetamine that was sold to a CEE-VI Drug Task Force informant in December 2009.

Ruiz was also sentenced to 12 months and one day -- to be served at the same time as the 48 months -- and $2,000 in fines on felony charges of fifth-degree drug possession and possession of a firearm with an altered serial number.

The sentence was handed down by District Judge Donald M. Spilseth in Kandiyohi County District Court. As part of a plea agreement, two more felony charges for firearms possession and gross misdemeanor charges of negligent storage of firearms and domestic assault were dismissed.

Ruiz and Jeffery Sydney Summerlet, 42, of Raymond, were charged in connection to a Dec. 22, 2009, drug sale. The first-degree count against Summerlet was dismissed April 20, two days after his death.

According to the complaint, the informant met Summerlet at his Raymond residence and traveled with him to Willmar. They went to a car wash, where they met a man who supplied Summerlet with 10.7 grams of meth. Summerlet and the informant later identified the man as Ruiz.

The informant gave Summerlet half a gram of meth for setting up the deal. The remaining drugs were later handed over to the CEE-VI agent.

The firearm and drug possession charges were filed after CEE-VI Drug Task Force agents, plus officers from the Willmar Police Department and Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office, served a search warrant around 8 a.m. Dec. 4, 2009, on a home in Regency Estates West.

Ruiz and Elizabeth Rodriguez, 20, were located in the home and had been sleeping on a pullout sofa in the living room.

With them were three small children, ages 2, 1 and 3 months. The smallest child was in a crib in the same room.

During a search of the room, an officer located a Walther P22 handgun under the cushion of a chair, which was within easy reach of the young children. The gun's magazine was fully loaded with .22-caliber ammunition and there was a round in the chamber of the gun.

When an officer was checking the gun into evidence, it was noted that the serial numbers had been removed from the gun.

Ruiz and Rodriguez also each face four first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman March 20 at a home in Regency Estates West. Ruiz makes his next appearance in that case on July 11 and Rodriguez's next court date is Aug. 4.

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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