After Police Testimony, Judge Finds Sufficient Evidence to Move Forward to Trial in Narcotics Case

By Anika Khubchandani 

SACRAMENTO, CA – Earlier last year, Sacramento Police Officer Taylor Rutledge searched the home of defendant Kimberly Patrice Roland—who is described as “elderly” and has “difficulty walking”—and claims they found many signs pointing toward the sale and distribution of narcotics.

And after hearing the officer’s testimony here in Sacramento County Superior Court last week, Judge Geoffrey Goodman agreed, and ruled there is sufficient evidence to move forward to trial. 

While inspecting the inside of a wall-mounted shoe holder in Roland’s single-story residence, the officer testified at the preliminary hearing that they found “approximately 100 small one-inch by one-inch clear plastic baggies.”

The defense argued that Roland has ailments that necessitate the drugs found.

People who are typically “involved in the sales and distribution of narcotics” will often use these “types of packets to repackage and redistribute them,” Rutledge explains. 

Rutledge then entered the master bedroom and discovered “a Bath & Body Works paper bag” containing three pill bottles  and a “mesh-style bag in the master bedroom closet which also contained” two pharmaceutical bottles labelled with Roland’s name.

One of the bottles from the mesh bag had 95 hydrocodone pills. The other had 14 hydrocodone pills and a mishmash of “leg cramp pills, duloxetine pills, and hydrochlorothiazide pills.” 

In addition to the pill bottles, Rutledge examined the defendant’s wallet, which was also kept in the mesh bag, and found $1,676 in cash. Officer Rutledge revealed that the sheer number of $20 bills is “indicative of sales.” 

Moving on to search the defendant’s office, he rummaged through a Washington Mutual currency bag and found an additional $1,407 in cash. Officer Rutledge testified that the “amount of pills” and the sheer number of $20 bills present in the house “is indicative of sales.” 

During a cross-examination, Assistant Public Defender Samira Ali asserted that Rutledge is “not a medical professional that prescribes medication or knows Ms. Roland’s condition.” The defendant “is elderly” and “has difficulty walking” which justifies why “she would need to take this sort of medication,” according to Ali. 

“Based on the quantity [of the pills], based on cash, based on packaging materials,” whether Kimberly Roland has a prescription “is neither here nor there,” Officer Rutledge argued. “A person can still sell and distribute pharmaceuticals illegally whether or not they have their own prescription.” 

Judge Goodman pondered over the photographic evidence of the pill bottles and decided that “there is sufficient evidence to support a holding order” and to move forward with trial

About The Author

Anika Khubchandani is a 4th year student at UC Davis majoring in both political science and economics. She is from San Jose, CA.

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