Plea Deal Off; Defendant Facing Drug Charges Loses Prelim, Has May Trial Date

By Michael Wheeler

SACRAMENTO, CA – Despite apparent serious discussions of a deal Friday, defendant Lance Jordan now has a trial date in May for four felonies, including unlawful possession of methamphetamine and heroin, as well as possession of a handgun.

“It does appear to the court that the offenses charged in the Counts one, two, three, and four of the complaint have been committed. I further find the allegations relevant to Counts one and two concerning the possession of a firearm also to be true. I find there is sufficient cause to believe the defendant is guilty thereof,” ruled Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Laurel White Friday at a preliminary hearing.

Jordan was apprehended during a traffic stop on Aug. 11, 2020, at the corner of K and 8th Streets in Sacramento. While conducting a search of Jordan, former police officer Jorge Martinez found a baggie containing 25g of methamphetamine in the front pocket of Jordan’s jacket.

Criminal investigator Dan Garbutt testified that 25g of methamphetamine represented between 100 and 250 doses of meth, noting, “The average dosage amount is between a tenth of a gram and a quarter of a gram… each of which would sell for approximately $20 on the street,” with a total value of the meth estimated at about $2,500.

Police also discovered 18g of heroin on Jordan. As police placed Jordan in the squad car, a baggie of heroin fell out of Jordan’s pant leg.

Assistant Public Defender Pamela Dominisse narrowed in on the location of the baggie during cross-examination of Martinez.

“You didn’t actually see the baggie fall from Mr. Jordan’s person, did you?” asked the PD, and Martinez admitted he did not.

“Based on all of these factors, I believe that the controlled substances in the possession at that time, and also the money, $1,000, I think that indicates sales of different denominations. He could be selling in usable amounts, he could be selling in grams. As I testified to earlier, I believe these two controlled substances, the heroin and the methamphetamine, for the purpose of sales,” Garbutt added.

Upon detaining the defendant, police found a wallet and cell phone on the driver’s seat of Jordan’s car. The wallet contained $1,068, which Martinez recorded in his report on the arrest.

Because of the terms of probation that Jordan had been under, Officer August Johnson was able to access Jordan’s phone, which contained evidence that Jordan had sold or was planning to sell to others. Drug paraphernalia was also found in the car.

Martinez stated that Jordan had only recently bought the car he was driving. “He mentioned that he had purchased the car recently, and that when he bought the vehicle there was a firearm inside of the car and he was aware of it.”

The third officer present during the stop, Daisy Castro, was called by the prosecution to discuss the firearm. Asked to identify the handgun, which was found under the driver’s seat of the vehicle, she stated, “It was a 9mm Baretta.”

The gun’s magazine contained live rounds, but no ammunition was in the chamber. Castro agreed that the gun was in “working and operable condition.”

The gun proved highly important to Jordan’s case. Because of a prior conviction dating to December 2017 which had resulted in a strike, possession of the handgun by Jordan was a felony transgression.

Deputy District Attorney Rainey Jacobsen offered to cut a deal with Dominisse.

The parties communicated prior to the hearing regarding a possible plea bargain. Under the current offer, Jordan would plead guilty to one of the charges, while two other counts would be dismissed.

The judge set a May 10 trial date.

Michael Wheeler is a junior at UC Davis, where he studies History and Economics. He is from Walnut Creek, California.


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