By Aziza Nussipov
SACRAMENTO – In the preliminary hearing for Juan Ramos here Tuesday in Sacramento County Superior Court, it appeared that everyone in a car stopped by police either didn’t know him or didn’t want to know him.
As a result, Judge James McFetridge ruled that Ramos should stand trial April 26 on three felony drug possession/for sale charges, and a felony evading charge. Ramos also has a petty theft misdemeanor charge outstanding.
In the prelim, Deputy District Attorney Toni Linarez questioned police Officer Mark Thrall who said he saw a car with no front license plate and front windows tinted last year. Thrall conducted a stop on the vehicle and observed “the right passenger door open up and a male Hispanic adult (allegedly Ramos)…fled on foot.”
Officer (no first name available on Zoom recording) Goetting, chased the man who ran, detained him and brought him back to the car.
Thrall found that the driver was on “searchable probation” and Ramos was on “suspended parole.” And when Thrall searched the car, he found a neon green bag with 504 oxycodone pills, 244 hydrocodone pills, and multiple pints of promethazine
Officer Goetting revealed that the other two in the car stated Ramos entered the vehicle with the bag. The driver had told the officer, “I don’t know the Mexican guy.” Despite this, the driver and passenger allegedly allowed Ramos to enter the vehicle at a gas station, after he had asked for a ride and offered to pay for gas.
The driver also had stated, “Look, the bag’s not mine and I’m not saying it’s his; I just know [Ramos] was holding it when he got into my car.”
The driver continuously tried to distance himself from Ramos and the bag even though the passenger stated they had all been “hanging out all day” and “we were drinking promethazine earlier.”
Assistant Public Defender Karri Iyama argued there were many proof problems and that testimonies conflicted.
The DDA maintained there was enough proof, and that “the defendant was the individual who was holding the bag…based on the testimony..and the bag was found in the backseat and the defendant was the only rear passenger…and the defendant’s flight serves as circumstantial evidence of his guilt.”
Aziza Nussipov is a junior at UC Davis majoring in Political Science. She is also a DJ for a freeform radio station, KDVS 90.3FM, and a part of the ASUCD Gender and Sexuality Commission.
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