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Three from west central Minnesota face drug charges, busted with meth, drug paraphernalia

WILLMAR — Three people made their first court appearances Friday on felony drug possession and paraphernalia charges for allegedly possessing more than 12 grams of methamphetamine, marijuana, mushrooms and drug paraphernalia found Wednesday afternoon in a southeast Willmar residence.

Brandon Alvin Mead, 28, and Stacey Joann Pederson, 26, of Willmar, and Vanessa Ramirez, 27, of Litchfield, each face two felony charges for second-degree drug possession and for storing methamphetamine paraphernalia in the presence of a child, plus petty misdemeanors for marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession. Unconditional bail was set at $60,000 for Mead, $50,000 for Ramirez and $40,000 for Pederson. All three are scheduled to make their next court appearance on Sept. 9 in Kandiyohi County District Court.

According to the complaints, a citizen provided information to Willmar police that Pederson and others were smoking drugs in the basement of a residence and that Pederson had been told to leave the home and not return to the home. The owner of the property wanted the police to get the group out of the house. In addition, the information included that a 9-year-old child was at the home and unsupervised while the adults were using drugs.

Officers went to the home and were met by a 12-year-old child, who informed Pederson that she needed to come to the door. Police officers entered the basement to find Ramirez and Mead, who grabbed an item off a desk and threw it onto the floor. The officer noted that the item was a bag of what was suspected to be meth. There was drug paraphernalia visible to the officers.

CEE-VI Drug Task Force agents were called in, petitioned for and received a search warrant and executed the warrant on the property. Agents found that the bag on the floor contained 12.5 grams of meth, that there were multiple other bags containing meth or traces of meth, marijuana, mushrooms, a digital scale and 50-gram weight that contained traces of meth, and drug pipes and paraphernalia.

The 12-year-old told police who had been at the home that day. Ramirez said that, while she had used the meth, it didn't belong to her, that it was Mead's meth. Pederson denied ownership of the meth and the paraphernalia, but admitted that the 9-year-old child was at the residence.

Ramirez's criminal history includes a third-degree drug conviction in 2009 in Meeker County. Mead's history includes five convictions for drug possession or sale between 2006 and 2009, in Kandiyohi and Redwood counties.

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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