Weather Forecast


Willmar, Minn., teen faces stolen property charge

WILLMAR — A 17-year-old Willmar teen faces a felony charge of receiving stolen property for allegedly possessing a gun and other items reported stolen earlier this month from a Kandiyohi County home.

The evidence against Paul Avery Leal was gathered when CEE-VI Drug Task Force agents served a search warrant Tuesday on a Regency West trailer home.

Leal made his first appearance Wednesday in Kandiyohi County District Court on the felony charge, plus petty misdemeanor charges for marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession.

His next appearance is Feb. 20.

Felony charges against 16- and 17-year-olds are public record.

Leal, Luis Ariel Hernandez, 31, and Cristian Vergana-Arellano, 19, were located in the trailer when the warrant was served on the home, according to the juvenile petition against Leal.

Hernandez and Vergana-Arellano are being held in the Kandiyohi County Jail on gun, stolen property and child neglect charges.

Police officers found a number of folding knives, several class rings and other items laid out on a table in a bedroom that Leal claimed as his room. One of the rings, a state championship football ring from New London-Spicer, and a Remington 870 Express 20-gauge shotgun, were identified as items taken in a Jan. 11 burglary.

The search also revealed a photo of guns, apparently taken in the same room, on an Apple iPod. Leal claimed the iPod was his property and said he took the photo of the guns but wouldn’t say who brought the guns into the trailer. He also claimed to know nothing about the knives and rings laid out in plain sight in his room.

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. 

(320) 214-4373