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Willmar man enters plea to gunpoint robbery; teen involved could be tried as an adult

Angel Rodriguez

WILLMAR -- Angel Guzman Rodriguez, 20, of Willmar, pleaded guilty Monday to a first-degree aggravated robbery charge for robbing a downtown Willmar business at gunpoint on Nov. 13.

As part of a plea agreement in Kandiyohi County District Court, another charge for second-degree assault was dismissed. Rodriguez will be sentenced March 23 to 41 months in prison.

Rodriguez and Oscar Manuel Trochez-Martinez, 17, were charged after police were called to Quick Return Tax Service, 214 Third St. S.W., on a report that two Hispanic males had robbed the business at gunpoint.

Trochez-Martinez currently faces juvenile charges of first-degree aggravated robbery and aiding and abetting second-degree assault.

A hearing on adult certification of his case is scheduled for Feb. 8. The juvenile case is public because he is 17 and the charges are felony level.

Both men were arrested within eight hours of the incident. Rodriguez was still wearing bright yellow shoes which he wore during the robbery when he was arrested around 10 p.m. near Cash Wise Foods. During an interview, he said he needed money because he'd been kicked out of his home and didn't have enough money for rent.

Police found along the 400 block of Becker Avenue Southwest a Santa hat and other clothing worn by the men during the robbery, after Rodriguez said they had discarded the garments there. He also said they had split the money and hid the guns in the ceiling of an apartment.

Trochez-Martinez was taken into custody around 1:20 a.m. the next morning by officers who staked out the apartment. He had $920 in $20 and $50 bills in his wallet.

A search warrant was served on the apartment and two carbon dioxide-powered BB guns were found in the ceiling. A total of $2,175 was located where Rodriguez had told officers he hid the money.

When interviewed, Trochez-Martinez claimed he didn't know Rodriguez was going to rob the store. When informed by the officer that there was video surveillance footage, he said the robbery was Rodriguez' idea and that both men had entered the business with guns in hand.

He said he was given $1,600, that the $920 was from the robbery and that he'd already spent $600 on food and clothing, but didn't know where the clothing was.