Co-defendant in narcotics texting case held to answer on drug charges
February 11, 2014
One of two women arrested after one inadvertently texted, then set up, a drug buy with an undercover narcotics officer, was held to answer on charges of possessing and transporting a controlled substance for sale.
But a charge of driving on a suspended license was dismissed against Lindsey Lanskey, 26, after a preliminary hearing into the evidence Thursday in Nevada County Superior Court.
Nevada County Sheriff's Narcotics Task Force member Brett LaCosse testified Det. Jeff Martin had received texts from Lanskey's co-defendant, Jessie Mulligan, negotiating the sale of a Fentanyl patch. LaCosse said Mulligan believed she was texting someone named Eric.
Mulligan and Martin arranged for a meeting at the Nevada City Elks Lodge, LaCosse said, adding that Lanskey drove up with Mulligan as the passenger. Lanskey told the detectives they had stopped to use the bathroom, LaCosse said.
Lanskey denied knowing that Mulligan was trying to sell drugs. "She said she was just giving Jessie a ride," LaCosse said.
LaCosse testified that Lanskey's cell phone contained texts about drug sales, including a text that indicated she was trying to sell a patch, as well as other narcotics. Other texts referred to selling Norco or possibly trading for methamphetamine, he said.
Under cross-examination by Deputy Public Defender Courtney Abril, LaCosse testified that the vehicle contained correspondence belonging to Mulligan and that a Fentanyl patch was located near where Mulligan was sitting.
No contraband was found on Lanskey, and she was not under the influence of a controlled substance, LaCosse said.
Abril argued that there was no proof the patch Lanskey referred to in her text was Fentanyl and told Judge Candace Heidelberger that any number of people could have had access to Lanskey's cell phone.
"We have a communication from Jessie Mulligan offering to sell a Fentanyl patch; Lindsay Lanskey talks about wanting to get rid of a patch; they are found with a Fentanyl patch," responded Deputy District Attorney Oliver Pong. "What a coincidence … No other patch is traded on the street, other than Fentanyl.
"Lindsay Lanskey is not a stranger to the drug trade," Pong continued, saying that Lanskey was not simply a good Samaritan giving a friend a ride.
Heidelberger pored over the text messages before ruling there was a reasonable inference the cell phone belonged to Lanskey and that she sent the text messages.
Lanskey is set for formal arraignment on the drug charges on March 21.
Mulligan, 25, has been charged with possession of a controlled substance, as well as possession and transportation of a controlled substance for sale. She failed to appear for a court date Jan. 20 and an arrest warrant was issued.
In other court news:
— A Rough and Ready man arrested in December 2012 after deputies found a storage unit full of marijuana, weapons and cash was sentenced to 120 days in jail.
After an anonymous caller reported the odor of marijuana coming from a storage unit, members of the Nevada County Sheriff's Narcotics Task Force served a search warrant at Penn Valley Mini Storage in the 17000 block of Penn Valley Drive.
They reportedly found 10 firearms, one of which was stolen; as well as $11,400 in cash; more than 20,000 rounds of ammunition; and 30 pounds of marijuana.
The storage unit had been rented by a man identified as Donald Brezo, 51. Narcotics task force members then searched Brezo's residence in the 14000 block of Stagecoach Way and allegedly found another 30 pounds of marijuana in a shed.
Donald Brezo was charged with possessing and cultivating marijuana for sale, being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and possession of stolen property.
He pleaded no contest to possessing marijuana for sale and being a felon in possession of a firearm and was sentenced to 120 days in jail and three years probation. He will be allowed to apply for alternative sentencing. The firearms were to be sold, with most of the proceeds being donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters.
— Two suspects in a vehicle break-in both have taken plea agreements. Brad Lee Pinneo, 34, and Christopher Robert Wilson, 25, were arrested in early December after the victim of the break-in spotted them leaving the store where they reportedly had disposed of many of the stolen items.
The burglars had made off with about 30 Frisbee golf discs in bags worth an estimated $500 and reportedly were paid less than $50.
After being confronted by the victim, Wilson reportedly pulled a folding knife with the blade exposed and pointed it at him before fleeing. But the two men were spotted just a few hours later by the victim and subsequently arrested.
Both men were charged with second-degree burglary and possession of stolen property, and Wilson faced an additional charge of exhibiting a deadly weapon.
On Jan. 2, Wilson pleaded no contest to possessing stolen property and exhibiting a deadly weapon and is set for sentencing today.
Pinneo previously had pleaded no contest to second-degree burglary with a stipulated split sentence of two years. He will serve 10 months in county jail and then serve 14 months on formal court probation,
To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4229.