Man held to answer in 2 meth sales cases
A local man was held to answer on methamphetamine sale and other charges in two separate cases Tuesday.
Jerry Andrew Valizan, 60, was initially arrested on Feb. 11 after he drove up to a house in the 13000 block of Ryan Ranch Road, at which narcotics detectives were conducting a search warrant.
At a preliminary hearing into the evidence against Valizan in Nevada County Superior Court Tuesday, Nevada County Sheriff’s Det. Mark Hollitz testified that the search was at the residence of Jeffery Scott Waters, and that he was in the living room with three men when Valizan drove up and walked up to the front door, which was open.
Hollitz testified that despite Valizan’s objection, he conducted a pat-down search and felt an object in his windbreaker that he suspected was a glass marijuana pipe.
He reportedly subsequently located meth in two places on Valizan’s person — inside 13 baggies in his jacket and in a 14th baggie in his pants pocket, Valizan told Hollitz he did not have a marijuana recommendation. He also reportedly told him that he did not know he had meth, that he had found the jacket in the park. Hollitz testified, however, that he had seen Valizan wearing that jacket in the past.
Hollitz said the meth in the baggies was common weights such as “teeners,” or 1/16th of an ounce. He agreed with Valizan’s attorney, Thomas Leupp, that all of the meth in Valizan’s possession could have been purchased by him for about $500, but said the amount was not consistent with personal use, in his experience.
Leupp argued that there was insufficient evidence in that case that Valizan possessed any meth for sale, but Judge Tom Anderson disagreed.
He held Valizan to answer on charges of possessing a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for sale and possessing drug paraphernalia.
Evidence was then heard on Valizan’s second case, which stemmed from the first, after a search warrant was served on his girlfriend’s residence in Nevada City two weeks later.
Members of the Nevada County Sheriff’s Narcotics Task Force arrived at the residence of Dixie Robin Lacey in the 300 block of South Pine Street on Feb. 20 and were conducting surveillance, Det. John Dzioba testified.
Dzioba said he saw Valizan in a vehicle and contacted him, advising him of the search warrant and detaining him. He reportedly found five baggies of suspected methamphetamine in Valizan’s pockets.
Dzioba testified that inside the residence, he found a television showing a live feed from a video camera on the porch, as well as a notification sensor.
During a search of the residence, he said he found a meth pipe and two small bags of meth on the kitchen table, as well as a digital gram scale disguised as an iPad with powder on the lid that tested presumptive positive for meth.
Dzioba testified that he also found a .22 pistol in a holster with five live rounds, and a loaded 12-gauge shotgun next to a recliner.
Two separate pay-owe sheets were reportedly located — one in the residence and one in Valizan’s vehicle. Dzioba testified that each had about 10 names with numbers next to them.
In the bedroom, he said, a purse was located that contained a baggie with suspected meth; he also reportedly found a large baggie containing 165 smaller baggies, and a little more than $1,000 in cash in a wall cabinet.
“Sellers will definitely want to have extra baggies on hand,” Dzioba said.
On cross-examination by attorney Stephen Munkelt — who was representing Lacey — Dzioba agreed that sometimes users like to hang onto their empty baggies, as well.
Munkelt later introduced a form showing that Lacey had won $2,500 gambling, which he said could have been why there was so much cash in the house.
In this case, Leupp strove to argue against special allegations that his client was armed in the commission of a felony, but Deputy District Attorney Oliver Pong noted that the special allegations can stand if the weapons are simply available.
Anderson found sufficient evidence to hold Valizan to answer on a misdemeanor charge of possessing drug paraphernalia, as well as felony counts of possessing a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for sale and possession of a controlled substance while armed.
He also found evidence for the special allegation of committing a felony while armed and committing a felony while on bail or on his own recognizance.
Valizan is set for formal arraignment in both cases on Nov. 24.
To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4229.
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