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Willmar man receives prison sentence for drug possession

Emilio Ozornia was sentenced to prison June 1, the second prison sentence this year for him. He was sentenced earlier this year for felony drug sale, and on June 1 for felony drug possession.

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WILLMAR — A St. Cloud man has been sentenced to nearly eight years in prison on a felony drug possession charge.

Emilio Ozornia, 37, was sentenced June 1 in Kandiyohi County District Court to 95 months in prison for methamphetamine possession. He was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison on a separate first-degree drug sale charge earlier this year.

Emilio Ozornia.jpg
Emilio Ozornia

Ozornia was given credit for 477 days already served in custody, which is more than 15 months. He was ordered to pay $335 in court fees and fines, to be paid from his prison earnings.

Ozornia is in custody at the Minnesota Correctional Facility at St. Cloud. The Minnesota Department of Corrections website lists an expected release date of December 2027 for him.

State law requires offenders to serve at least two-thirds of their sentences in custody, and they may serve the remaining time on supervised release.


Ozornia pleaded guilty May 31 in an Alford plea to second-degree possession of methamphetamine.

Under an Alford plea, a person agrees to plead guilty without admitting guilt, with the understanding that the prosecution has evidence that would make a conviction likely at trial.

An Alford plea is treated like any other guilty plea at sentencing.

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"The part that is not resolved is not going to be resolved ever," the victim's daughter said after the sentencing. "He's obviously not going to admit to this at all, whatsoever."

According to the criminal complaint in the case, Ozornia was arrested in February 2021 when CEE-VI Drug and Gang Task Force agents served an arrest warrant on him at a Willmar home. During a search after the arrest, agents found methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. Ozornia had a large amount of cash on him.

He was charged with two counts of first-degree drug possession for possession of more than 100 grams of methamphetamine and one count of fifth-degree drug possession for possession of a small amount of marijuana.

In a plea agreement, he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree drug possession. The other charges were dismissed.

He has previous Kandiyohi County drug convictions from 2010 and 2016.

In 42 years in the newspaper industry, Linda Vanderwerf has worked at several daily newspapers in Minnesota, including the Mesabi Daily News, now called the Mesabi Tribune in Virginia. Previously, she worked for the Las Cruces Sun-News in New Mexico and the Rapid City Journal in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She has been a reporter at the West Central Tribune for nearly 27 years.

Vanderwerf can be reached at email: lvanderwerf@wctrib.com or phone 320-214-4340
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