Worthington man sentenced in burglary case

WORTHINGTON -- Melvin Larreynaga-Cruz, 24, of Worthington, was sentenced Tuesday morning in Nobles County District Court in a first-degree burglary case.

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WORTHINGTON -  Melvin Larreynaga-Cruz, 24, of Worthington, was sentenced Tuesday morning in Nobles County District Court in a first-degree burglary case.


Larreynaga-Cruz initially faced a number of charges including four first-degree burglary charges, two misdemeanor charges of domestic assault and a misdemeanor charge of theft. Prosecuting attorney Matthew Loeffler dismissed most of the charges.


Larreynaga-Cruz went to trial May 4 and faced one felony count of first-degree burglary. The jury found him guilty.



According to court records, Larreynaga-Cruz broke into to the apartment of his ex-girlfriend in April 2015. When the woman arrived at her home, she found Larreynaga-Cruz using her iPad.


After his alleged use, the iPad stopped working. The woman told the Worthington Police Department that Larreynaga-Cruz had grabbed her arms and thrown her against the wall, then left with her iPad and cell phone.


The officer then interviewed Larreynaga-Cruz, who denied going to the apartment or contacting the woman.


Before his sentencing, Larreynaga-Cruz’s attorney informed Judge Gordon Moore that if the defendant was convicted of a felony, he could be potentially deported from the country. Moore noted that the minimum sentence for Larreynaga-Cruz’s crime is six months in jail, and he didn't believe it was appropriate to change the sentence for that reason.



Moore sentenced Larreynaga-Cruz to six months in jail, as well as a stay of execution of 21 months in jail and five years probation. In addition, he has to pay a $700 fine.


The burglary charge carries a maximum penalty of not more than 20 years in prison, a $35,000 fine or both.

Iona man faces drug charges Edward Vallejo, 42, of Iona, appeared in Nobles County District Court on Monday afternoon for an omnibus hearing in a second-degree drug case.


Vallejo is facing a felony count of second-degree drug sale after agents of the Buffalo Ridge Task Force (BRTF) found Vallejo selling cocaine on two occasions in 2012.



According to courts records, BRTF agents made arrangements through a confidential informant (CI) to purchase a half-ounce of cocaine worth $700 on July 12, 2012. The CI met with Vallejo at a Worthington address and gave the CI 6.3 grams of the drug. The second purchase, which took place on July 19, 2012, was for 3.7 grams of cocaine.


The prosecuting attorney asked for a continuance of the omnibus hearing due to a possible CI identification issue. Judge Moore agreed to postpone the hearing, with the condition it will be scheduled within weeks due to the age of the case.


As a provisional measure, Moore arraigned Vallejo, who pleaded not guilty to all his charges. The case will be scheduled for a two-day jury trial.


If convicted, Vallejo could be facing a maximum sentence of 25 years in jail and a $500,000 fine.


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