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Willmar, Minn., teen gets probation, community service for stolen gun, drug charges

WILLMAR -- A 16-year-old Willmar teen was sentenced Tuesday to six months of probation, 40 hours of community service and 12 days at Prairie Lakes Detention Center on felony charges of receiving stolen property and fifth-degree drug possession for possessing a stolen pistol and khat found in a vehicle searched by CEE-VI Drug Task Force agents on June 24.

Simon Torres III was also sentenced to an additional 40 hours of community service on a fifth-degree drug possession charge for marijuana found in a vehicle stopped by a sheriff's deputy on May 17.

As part of a plea agreement, one of the drug charges was lowered from fourth-degree possession with intent to sell and a felony charge of possession of a pistol or assault weapon by a minor was dismissed. Torres' disposition was handed down by Judge Michael J. Thompson in Kandiyohi County District Court.

Felony matters against 16- and 17-year-old defendants are public record.

According to the petition in the gun case, CEE-VI agents were on patrol around 4 p.m. June 24 in the city and smelled the distinct odor of burning marijuana from the vehicle in front of them. The officers followed the sport utility vehicle and stopped it, for crossing the center line, along Fifth Street Southwest near the intersection of 15th Avenue Southwest.

The driver and three occupants, including Torres, were removed and the vehicle searched. Officers located a bag that contained 29.1 grams of khat, brass knuckles, a marijuana pipe, a digital scale and a Ruger .327 handgun. Torres claimed the bag and one of the passengers told officers that he brought the bag with him into the vehicle.

The gun was reported as stolen from Zero Tolerance Guns in Willmar.

Torres told officers that he had found the khat and handgun in Rice Park on June 17 and was trying to sell the gun for $200.

The other drug charge was filed after May 17, when a vehicle was stopped along First Street because it was operating without headlights and the deputy observed drugs and drug paraphernalia in the car. Torres claimed the items, including 26.5 grams of marijuana, when interviewed by investigators.

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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