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Diaz returning to prison after drug conviction

WILLMAR — Joshua Diaz, who was released from prison in January after serving 14 years for second-degree unintentional murder, is headed back to prison, this time for felony first-degree drug possession.

Diaz, 35, of Clara City, was sentenced Thursday in Kandiyohi County District Court to 110 months, and was committed to the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud. He will receive credit for 261 days already served.

Diaz was arrested in February after law enforcement searched the home where he was staying and found more than 100 grams of methamphetamine.

Diaz entered a guilty plea in October to the first-degree drug charge as part of a plea agreement that dismissed a felony charge of storing meth paraphernalia in the presence of a child or vulnerable adult and a petty misdemeanor charge for knowingly using or possessing drug paraphernalia. Also dismissed as part of the plea agreement were two third-degree assault charges stemming from the alleged assault of fellow inmates in the Kandiyohi County Jail in March and June.

The plea agreement asked that Diaz's sentence be on the lower end of the sentencing guidelines, and the sentencing order says the sentence was not a departure from those guidelines.

Diaz will have to serve at least two-thirds of his just over nine-year sentence for the recent drug charge in prison, but could serve the remaining third on supervised release. He also had to submit a DNA sample.

Diaz, formerly of Willmar, was convicted in Chippewa County of second-degree unintentional murder and two second-degree assault charges in the September 2002 death of Nathan Hoseck, 22, of Hanley Falls. Hoseck died from multiple stab wounds suffered in a fight between Diaz and Diaz's brother.