WILLMAR -- Ashley Marie Eliason, 20, and Abel Ricardo Mendoza III, 20, of Willmar, were arraigned Monday on three felony drug charges after more than seven pounds of marijuana was delivered in the mail Friday to their home.
Unconditional bail was set at $10,000 for Eliason. Conditional release was allowed on her personal recognizance. Mendoza's unconditional bail was set at $20,000. Conditional bail was set at $10,000. Neither is allowed contact with the other. Both will appear in court again March 10.
According to the complaint, CEE-VI Drug Task Force agents received information from the U.S. Postal Inspector that a package containing in excess of three kilograms of marijuana was en route to Eliason's address in Willmar from a Juan Castillo in Edinburg, Texas.
A search warrant was prepared in anticipation of the controlled delivery of the package. Another woman at the home signed for the package around 10 a.m. Friday. About 20 minutes later, law enforcement officers entered the home and found the couple, the package containing 3.28 kilograms of marijuana and other drugs in a bedroom of the home.
Mendoza was recognized by officers as an associate of the Gangster Disciples.
In an interview, Eliason told officers that she knows Mendoza to use and sell marijuana and that she has personally witnessed him on the phone making multiple deals on a daily basis. She said that last fall, a package of marijuana came in the mail to her former address. She also said there was cocaine in their bedroom.
Another woman at the home told officers that Mendoza smoked marijuana at the home two days ago, that she personally bought from him four to five times and that Eliason's 5-year-old child has access to the room where the drugs were located.