3 suspects arraigned in drug bust
Three of the four people arrested in a drug bust on Bitney Springs Road appeared in Nevada County Superior Court on Monday and were charged on multiple counts related to possession, sale and transportation of methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana.
Eric Michael Southard, whose residence was raided Friday, was charged on six counts of possessing methamphetamine, cocaine, cocaine base and marijuana for sale and two other minor drug charges.
Alfonso Corrales and Hillario Carranza, who appeared on the scene during the raid and were arrested, were charged on three counts of transporting and selling methamphetamine, possessing meth for sale and a minor drug charge.
Judge Ersel Edwards set the bail amount for all three men at $100,000 each and appointed attorneys to represent the defendants. The three men will appear in court again at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday for continued arraignment, Edwards said.
At the time of the raid, Sheriff Keith Royal had said some of those arrested may have been connected “to a known large drug ring, most likely from a Mexican superlab.”
Capt. Ron Smith said authorities were still trying to confirm the link.
“The Drug Enforcement Administration knows the two Hispanics,” Smith said. “That tells us that these people have been trafficking drugs for a long time.
“They are Mexicans. They are holding a large amount of money and drugs. So you put two and two together. They didn’t make this money from a legitimate job.”
Others arrested in the raid were Gerald Faunce, Jesse Smith-Gardner, Glen Taylor and Camie Young.
Faunce was arrested on a local misdemeanor warrant and suspicion of possessing drugs. Smith-Gardner was arrested on suspicion of possessing drugs without a prescription and driving on a suspended or revoked license. Taylor was arrested on a local felony warrant for allegedly violating his probation. Young was arrested on the suspicion of possessing meth.
Faunce was released on his own recognizance and will return to court at a later date. Smith-Gardner was released after paying a $7,500 bail. Taylor is still in custody and Young had to be released because she wasn’t arraigned soon enough, officials said.
To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4229.
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