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Willmar, Minn., man sentenced to five years in prison for selling meth to drug task force informant

WILLMAR -- Edward Milton Braness, 34, of Willmar was sentenced Monday to 61 months in prison on a third-degree drug sale charge for his role in selling 6.5 grams of methamphetamine to a CEE-VI informant in December.

As part of his sentence handed down by District Judge Kathryn N. Smith in Kandiyohi County District Court, Braness was ordered to pay a $1,500 fine. He was given credit for 279 days already served in custody.

Braness pleaded guilty to the third-degree charge in August and as part of a plea agreement, the charge was reduced from second-degree level.

Braness and two others were charged in connection to drug sales in Willmar. Jaime Jon Roberg Skaalerud, 34, faces one first-degree and one fifth-degree sale count.

His next appearance is Oct. 22, with a jury trial on Oct. 23 to 26. Erica Lynn Busse, 23, of Bagley and formerly of Willmar, was sentenced Aug. 8 to 65 days in the county jail, a $500 fine and 15 years of probation on a fourth-degree drug sale charge.

According to the complaint against Busse, a CEE-VI informant purchased 7.8 grams of meth for $600 from Skaalerud on Jan. 7, meeting at a home along the 700 block of 11th Street Northwest.

The sale was one of several drug purchases made by CEE-VI agents and informants between Dec. 7 and Jan. 7 from Skaalerud, Braness and Busse.

The drug sales included 30 grams of marijuana Dec. 7 and an estimated 3.4 grams of methamphetamine Dec. 8.

The true weight of the meth was not recorded because the bag was dropped by an agent before it was properly weighed. The weight after some of the meth was lost was 2.7 grams. The purchases also include the sale of 6.5 grams of meth Dec. 22, with Braness participating in the sale.

Braness had two prior convictions in Kandiyohi County for fifth-degree drug possession in 2004 and 2007.

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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