Preliminary Goes Good, and Bad, for Suspect; Now Facing Drug Trial

By Karisa Cortez 

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The good news for  defendant Ronald Nelson here in a preliminary hearing at San Francisco County Superior Court is that afterwards the heroin charge was dismissed—the bad news is that he now has a fentanyl charge.

He’s set for arraignment on the felony charges July 26.

Police witnesses described finding—when they stopped Nelson, who was just walking down the street—suspected cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin on the defendant. The only drug not tested was the suspected heroin. Later it was found to be fentanyl.  

Prosecutor McDaniels asked officers to explain how they could tell that the drugs were being used for sale instead of personal use, and they said that when items are found for personal use there is usually only one bag found on suspects. When found for selling there are multiple different packages. 

Officers said they also found a glass pipe, which they said goes by the street name of a “crack pipe.”

In addition to the drugs, the officer said the location of the arrest is also a very common place where drugs are sold. The drugs were tested outside of the police department, where what was suspected to be heroin was actually found to be fentanyl. 

The defense asked officers how and why they detained the defendant. Officers stated that they were in an unmarked vehicle, saw him walking down the street, and he was detained. 

There was no money found on the defendant, but officers explained this could be because in the Tenderloin people will often work as teams. Someone will have some of the drugs while another person has the money. They will also store stuff with local residents to not have as much on them in case they are caught. 

The prosecution asked to change the drug charge for heroin to fentanyl because of the new evidence presented. The judge agreed.

The defendant is expected to be arraigned July 26 with a trial date to be set. 

About The Author

Karisa Cortez is an incoming fourth year Politics major with minors in history and media studies at the University of San Francisco. She is from San Jose, CA and is currently living in San Francisco.

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