By Simran Chahal
SACRAMENTO, CA – A man found with about 50 pounds of methamphetamine worth in the neighborhood of $100,000 will be going to trial after his preliminary hearing this week in Sacramento County Superior Court.
Judge Johnathan Hayes ruled he found sufficient evidence to charge Juan Fierros-Andrade with possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell.
Detective Carlos Romo informed the court that, in April of this year, he conducted a traffic stop around 1:40 p.m. in the area he was patrolling and made contact with the driver and the right-front passenger who Romo identified as the defendant, Fierros-Andrade.
In court Fierros-Andrade’s screen was blacked out during the witness testimony, but the court recognized the detective identified him through his name only.
Romo explained that he was not the one who searched the truck, “but my partner did.” During the search, Romo stated that his partner, Thomas Fountain, “found a suitcase which contained a large amount of suspected methamphetamine.”
After the confiscation of the suitcase, Romo said an analysist identified the contents of the bag as “double packaged Ziploc bags, with one side the other, and the inside bag containing a white crystalline substance…a positive indication in the Color Test which was presumptive and the Gas Chromatography confirmed methamphetamine.”
Romo stated they found about 21,975 grams of methamphetamine, about 50 pounds.
Detective Fountain informed the court Fierros-Andrade informed him that “everything in the vehicle” belonged to Fierros-Andrade.
Upon search of the vehicle, Fountain described that a strong smell of dryer sheets and fabric softener which Fountain explained “is used as a masking odor, attempting to hide narcotics from the officer themselves or canine.”
With further searching, Fountain explained he “found a purple suitcase in the front right corner nearest to the passenger cab of the vehicle.” Inside the suitcase, Fountain stated finding “approximately 50 pounds of methamphetamine.”
Fountain then preceded to ask the defendant whether the suitcase was his. “Initially, [the defendant] said no, but after a slight pause, he said it was,” Fountain stated.
Detective Fountain explained that “the average use is 0.2 grams” and the typical user will have “a gram or two on them” which would be about 10 uses.
Fountain stated that about 21,000 grams of methamphetamine would result in over 80,000 uses. Fountain expressed this large amount was for possession, “due to the sheer volume of it. No users aren’t going to possess 21,000 grams at any one point. They won’t even have access to obtain that much methamphetamine.”
Fountain stated that never encountered a user with about $100,000 worth of methamphetamine at one point. So, “it’s only for one thing…for sale. It’s being transported for the purpose of sales.”
The questioning was concluded with Fountain explaining that there was no indication of any indigestion instrument that would indicate it was for use.
Deputy District Attorney Mark Ott argued, “it’s 50 pounds of methamphetamine which clearly is a drug narcotics trafficker.”
Judge Hayes said there was sufficient evidence to hold the defendant on accounts of possession of controlled substances with the intent to sell.
The trial readiness conference is for Jan. 20 and the trial date is set for Jan. 24.