By Elizabeth Griffiths
A parole search on December 6, 2018, left Cristobal Seth Jaime charged with possession and sale of Xanax and morphine; however, no tests were done to confirm the legitimacy of these drugs.
In a preliminary hearing Agent Derek Russell, who was part of the parole search, was called as a witness. When Russell conducted the search of Mr. Jaime’s house, he found 92 pills of Xanax and 13 pills of morphine, and in addition, about $3000 in cash bound by a rubber band. Furthermore, when conducting a phone search, Agent Russell also found five messages from December 5, 2018, which stated, “Who wants Xans?”
Russell told the court that when Jaime was questioned by the police he said he took the Xanax for his anxiety, even though it was not prescribed to him. He also stated that he took the morphine for a shoulder injury.
Agent Russell argued he had probable cause to believe that all these pills were for sale, due to the quantity and his experience with people who sell drugs. He stated that most of the people he finds who sell drugs often sell more than one kind, thus giving him cause to believe both he Xanax and morphine were for sale.
When the defense asked Agent Russell how he identified the drugs he found, Russell said he searched “white rectangular pill” on Drugs.com, which is the website they use to identify drugs. He said the pills usually have some marking he can look up too, but he didn’t search the number on the pills in his report.
The defense brought awareness to the fact that Xanax can be counterfeited and asked if Russell or his team conducted a chemical test in order to confirm the legitimacy of the drugs. Russell denied that, saying his office does not have the resources for conducting a chemical test.
The defense also brought awareness to the fact that Agent Russell never asked about Mr. Jaime’s job or medical records, which could have explained his need for morphine.
Judge David Rosenberg brought to question whether there was enough evidence to prove the sale of morphine. The People countered, stating that Russell had found the morphine placed next to the Xanax on the shelf in Jaime’s room, thus the placement of the drugs accompanied by the street value of morphine and the amount of cash found in Jaime’s possession are enough evidence to support that Jaime intended to sell the morphine.
Ultimately, Judge Rosenberg ruled that there was sufficient evidence for possession and sale of Xanax; however, there was not sufficient evidence to charge Jaime with the sale of morphine.