Three arrested in connection with Borch’s burglary

Worthington Police have arrested three people in connection with an Oct. 30 burglary at Borch’s Sporting Goods in Marshall. Worthington Police Chief Mike Cumiskey said a Worthington woman, her adult son, and a 17-year-old juvenile were arrested after being pulled over in a traffic stop early Sunday morning. Complaints filed in Nobles County District Court this week allege that several guns stolen from Borch’s were found in the suspects’ possession.

Marshall Police Chief Rob Yant said local charges against the three are expected to be filed soon.

“We’re working with the Worthington Police Department and continue to follow up on our investigation,” Yant said. “We plan to file (separate) charges here in the near future.”

Charges were filed in Nobles County District Court this week against Michele Lee Lopez, 38, of Worthington, Julio Cesar Hernandez, 19, of Worthington, and a 17-year-old male from Lismore. Lopez is charged with possession of a firearm after having been convicted of a violent crime, receiving stolen property and possessing a firearm without a permit. A criminal complaint alleges Lopez had been previously convicted in federal court of possession of methamphetamines with intent to distribute. Minnesota law defines the offense as a crime of violence.

Hernandez is charged with possession of a firearm after having been convicted or adjudicated for a violent crime, two counts of receiving stolen property and possession of a firearm without a permit.

At 2:41 a.m. on Oct. 30, a car was driven through the entrance of Borch’s Sporting Goods on East College Drive in Marshall and then abandoned. A display case at the store’s handgun counter was also smashed, and firearms were stolen. The car was found to be one that was reported stolen in Worthington.

The Marshall Police Department sent out information to area law enforcement alerting them of the burglary and identifying possible suspects, Cumiskey said. Around 3:30 a.m. on Nov. 10, officers conducting a traffic stop in Worthington found that two occupants of the stopped vehicle had been named as possible suspects.

Criminal complaints filed against Lopez and Hernandez allege that Hernandez was in possession of a nine-millimeter handgun, and two more handguns were found in the vehicle. All three guns matched serial numbers with guns stolen from Borch’s, the complaints allege.

Cumiskey said Worthington Police also got consent to search Lopez’s home in Worthington. The criminal complaints allege officers found another stolen handgun, as well as items that had been reported as being in the stolen car used to crash through the front of Borch’s.

Cumiskey said Lopez and Hernandez are being held in Worthington, while the juvenile male is being held in Willmar. Nobles County court records said bail hearings for Lopez and Hernandez were held on Wednesday. Their next scheduled court appearances in Nobles County are on Nov. 26.