Gwinner man gets deferred sentence for drug charge

Hermicillo

A Gwinner, North Dakota, man received a deferred imposition of sentencing Monday, April 5 in Richland County District Court.

Ernesto Hermicillo, 39, faced two total charges: one class A felony-level charge of methamphetamine possession with the intent to deliver and one class B misdemeanor-level charge of alcohol-related driving under suspension.

Hermicillo entered an amended guilty plea to the possession charge on April 5. The driving under suspension charge was dismissed. Hermicillo previously entered not guilty pleas to both charges, court records state.

Under Judge Bradley Cruff’s order, Hermicillo must successfully complete Richland County Treatment Court, as well as supervised probation for two years. After the full probationary period is completed, the charged would be removed from Hermicillo’s record. A total of $1,025 in fees were also waived.

Based on investigations of the Southeast Multi-County Agency (SEMCA) drug task force, Daily News previously reported, both Hermicillo and Melissa Shivers, 46, were accused in January 2021 of allegedly willfully possessing controlled substances with the intent to deliver within 300 feet of a school in Wyndmere, North Dakota.

A search of Shivers’ purse resulted in SEMCA agents seizing baggies containing a white crystal substance, according to court documents. The substance was field tested and returned a presumptive positive for being methamphetamine. Agents also seized cellophane wrappers containing what was believed to be marijuana.

Methamphetamine is a Schedule II controlled substance. Marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance. Possession of either with intent to deliver within 300 feet of a school is a class A-level felony, Daily News previously reported.

Attorney Erica Chisholm represented Hermicillo. Richland County Assistant State’s Attorney Casey Moen represented the state of North Dakota.

In March 2021, Shivers received a deferred imposition of sentencing for three total charges: methamphetamine possession with the intent to deliver and marijuana possession with the intent to deliver (both class A felonies) and possession of drug paraphernalia (a class A misdemeanor). Judge Cruff ordered that Shivers, like Hermicillo, complete treatment and probation. Shivers was represented by Public Defender Don Krassin.

The maximum penalty for a class B misdemeanor is 30 days imprisonment, a $1,500 fine, or both, Daily News previously reported. The maximum penalty for a class A misdemeanor is 360 days imprisonment, a $3,000 fine, or both. The maximum penalty for a class A felony is 20 years imprisonment, a $20,000 fine, or both.

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