A Nevada County Superior Court judge found sufficient evidence to hold a Penn Valley man to answer on methamphetamine sales charges after a preliminary hearing into evidence Thursday.
Todd Christopher Brady, 47, was driving a rental car when he was pulled over by a Nevada County Sheriff’s deputy May 29.
Deputy Jeff Martin testified he was following Brady on Highway 174 and continued to follow him as he turned left on Empire Street in Grass Valley, crossed South Auburn Street and pulled into the parking lot of the Golden Empire Market. He said he saw the vehicle veer over the double yellow lines twice and pull halfway into the intersection before stopping.
Martin said Brady appeared to be under the influence of meth, although he “adamantly” denied it. Brady was arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance after Martin conducted an evaluation, he said.
Martin testified that Brady admitted to having a small amount of medical marijuana, for which he had a prescription. According to Martin, another member of the narcotics task force searched the vehicle and found about 15 grams of marijuana.
After Brady was transported to jail, the other deputy found loose plastic panels on the console and removed them to discover a baggie containing about 75.5 grams of meth, Martin said.
Martin testified the street value of the meth could range up to $5,000.
On cross-examination by Brady’s attorney, Stephen Munkelt, Martin said members of the narcotics task force had been conducting surveillance on a drug house in Alta when he was assigned to follow a vehicle that was seen leaving the residence. Martin said he followed the car that Brady was driving from Colfax to Grass Valley.
He described Brady as a “person of interest” who was known to have drug charges out of Los Angeles County.
Martin testified that the car, a newer Nissan sedan, was found to have been rented for a period of several weeks and was overdue its return date. He said he did not know in whose name the rental contract was written, however.
Munkelt argued that there was no indication that Brady rented the car or that he was aware of the presence of meth in the vehicle; Deputy District Attorney Jim Phillips noted simply that Brady was the only person in the car.
Judge Candace Heidelberger found sufficient evidence to hold Brady to answer on charges of possessing a controlled substance for sale, transporting a controlled substance, possession and being under the influence of a controlled substance. She did not find sufficient evidence to hold Brady on a charge of possessing marijuana, however.
Brady was set for formal arraignment Dec. 10.
To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (530) 477-4229.