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Willmar man sentenced to 39 months in prison for selling methamphetamine

Mauro Berga Lopez-Rasmussen, 29, of Willmar, was convicted of two third-degree drug sale charges in Kandiyohi County District Court and was sentenced Sept. 2 to serve a 39-month and 33-month

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WILLMAR — A 29-year-old Willmar man was sentenced to serve 39 months in prison after pleading guilty to two felony counts of third-degree drug sale.

Mauro Berga Lopez-Rasmussen was sentenced Sept. 2 in Kandiyohi County District Court. Judge David Mennis ordered a 33-month sentence on the second count to be served concurrently with the 39-month sentence. Lopez-Rasmussen received credit for 314 days already served.

Mauro Berga Lopez-Rasmussen mug.jfif
Mauro Berga Lopez-Rasmussen
Contributed / Minnesota Department of Corrections

Under Minnesota law, offenders are required to serve at least two-thirds of a sentence in custody and may be allowed to serve the remaining time on supervised release. According to the Minnesota State Department of Corrections website, Lopez-Rasmussen’s expected release date from the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud is Dec. 26, 2023.

Lopez-Rasmussen pleaded guilty to the two charges in July, and three other drug charges in a separate case from May of this year were dismissed in exchange for his plea.

Lopez-Rasmussen was first charged in June 2021, and the criminal complaint against him was amended later.

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According to the most recent criminal complaint, the CEE-VI Drug and Gang Task Force conducted two controlled buys from Lopez-Rasmussen in April 2020 using a confidential informant. Task force funds, recorded by serial number, and an audio recording device were used by the informant during each operation.

An operation on April 15, 2020, was conducted near the city of Raymond, just into Chippewa County. The informant met a man and a woman, whom agents could hear on audio, in the driveway of an address in rural Raymond.

The informant later turned over to the agents two baggies weighing 8.6 grams, including packaging, and the substance field-tested positive for the presence of methamphetamine, according to the complaint. The informant identified Lopez-Rasmussen as the man who provided the drugs.

During the April 28, 2020, controlled buy operation, a confidential informant drove his vehicle to a residence in southwest Willmar, where agents observed a man wearing a mask, later identified as Lopez-Rasmussen, enter the informant’s vehicle.

According to the complaint, agents followed the vehicle from Willmar to New London, where it made two stops — a gas station and a residence, both entered by Lopez-Rasmussen.

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Agents then followed the vehicle back to the same Willmar residence, where Lopez-Rasmussen was dropped off.

The informant met with the agents and said the funds allocated for the controlled buy were given to Lopez-Rasmussen after the second stop in New London.

The methamphetamine purchased was then given to the informant on the drive back to Willmar, according to the complaint. The baggie weighed more than 12.5 grams, including packaging, and the substance field-tested positive for methamphetamine.

Dale Morin is a reporter with the West Central Tribune. He covers public safety and breaking news beats.

Dale can be reached at dmorin@wctrib.com or by phone 320-214-4368.
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