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Willmar man charged for causing $13,000 in damage to crops

WILLMAR -- Bronson Cody Evenson, 20, of Willmar, made his first court appearance Wednesday on three felony charges of first-degree criminal damage to property charges for allegedly driving his pickup through multiple crop fields near Willmar and Pennock, causing thousands of dollars in lost crop yields.

Evenson was released on his personal recognizance. His next appearance in Kandiyohi County District Court is Oct. 8. He also faces a misdemeanor charge for driving after suspension.

According to the court file, the estimated damage is at least $13,000 in lost yields.

According to the complaint, the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office received reports July 28 and 29 from farmers that someone had driven a vehicle through their fields near the Willmar airport and north of Pennock. The volume of corn stalks left on the roadway near the fields by the airport led deputies to believe that there would be corn plants stuck to the vehicle.

On July 30, a citizen reported that he'd seen a young man removing corn stalks from his vehicle along Ninth Street in the southeast part of Willmar. The citizen recalled reading a news report about damage to fields and thought the agricultural foliage on the vehicle was suspicious.

Deputies found the vehicle, a 1995 Chevy pickup registered to Evenson and noted that it had soybean leaves in the front grill, wheat tops on and around the vehicle and corn leaves and plants hanging from the underside of the pickup. The pickup, which was then towed by the sheriff's office, was also missing pieces from the front end.

Evenson allegedly admitted to a detective that he and a friend had driven through the fields after they'd left a party near Pennock. Evenson was escorted to the damaged fields by a detective and admitted to causing the damage and to driving without a valid license.

Evenson's friend was also contacted and admitted to damaging the fields.

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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