WILLMAR — A Willmar man was fined more than $1,200 and placed on probation Wednesday after being convicted in two separate cases, one drug-related and the other involving terroristic threats against a former girlfriend and a high-speed car chase.
Petrolino Molina, 27, could have faced jail or prison time. But Kandiyohi County District Court Judge Kathryn Smith agreed to stay execution of a one-year prison sentence on the terroristic threat charge for five years. She also gave Molina credit for time he has already served in the Kandiyohi County jail.
He will be required to spend five years on supervised probation. Under the terms of his probation, he must enter and complete outpatient chemical dependency treatment, submit to random drug testing and undergo a domestic abuse evaluation.
If he successfully completes probation, the terroristic threat charge, a felony, will be reduced to a misdemeanor conviction and a fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance charge will be dismissed.
Three additional drug-related charges, a driving while impaired charge and a charge of violating a restraining order were dismissed in plea agreements reached earlier.
Molina was initially arrested back in October after Willmar police received a report of suspicious activity and traffic coming and going day and night at the residence Molina shared with a girlfriend.
Acting on the tip, agents with the CEE-VI Drug and Gang Task Force conducted a garbage pickup at the house and searched through the garbage, finding some plastic bags, one of which contained a substance that field-tested positive for methamphetamine.
On Oct. 27, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at the house. During their search they recovered a box containing two methamphetamine pipes, a plastic bag with residue that tested positive for marijuana, a surveillance camera and a notebook listing payments and amounts owed. Several children’s toys were nearby and two children, ages 3 and 4, were in the house when officers arrived with their search warrant.
According to court records, officers also found a loaded handgun in the console of a vehicle that was registered to Molina and parked outside in the driveway.
In an interview with police, Molina admitted he sold methamphetamine from the house without his girlfriend’s knowledge while she was at work.
The case was still pending when Molina was arrested again, this time on multiple charges for violating a restraining order filed by an ex-girlfriend, making terroristic threats, fleeing a police officer and driving while impaired.
According to the criminal complaint, Molina showed up at the woman’s house in southwest Willmar on the night of Dec. 4, in violation of a no-contact order. She wasn’t there but another woman was, and called Willmar police. An officer who responded saw Molina’s truck leave the parking lot at a high rate of speed, sliding in the snow and almost hitting the squad car.
Two officers pursued. The chase ended outside Molina’s house when the truck went into a snowbank and became stuck. According to court records, Molina then fled on foot into the house. When the two Willmar police officers entered, they found him in bed underneath the covers and arrested him.
Several text messages and voice mails sent to the ex-girlfriend were later recovered. Court records said Molina threatened several times to kill her, telling her, “I guarantee I get to you before the cops get to me.”