By Joshua Cenzano
SANTA BARBARA, CA – Sergio Martinez-Olmos appeared in court Monday to answer for a violation of his probation after pleading guilty and serving time in jail for possessing a large amount of oxycodone and methamphetamines as well as a loaded semi-automatic weapon.
He was initially released by the Santa Barbara County Jail several months after his conviction on the condition that he would enroll in an adult rehabilitation center (ARC).
Martinez-Olmos was to attend a rehabilitation center named Jericho in Brisbane, CA. However, according to his defense attorney, Scot Neudorff, Jericho’s administrators never contacted or picked up Martinez-Olmos.
After three weeks, he notified Neudorff, who contacted the appropriate people to enroll him in Jericho.
Martinez-Olmos was found to be unsuitable for enrollment at the site because of his existing prescription to combat depression. The center is not adequately equipped to handle patients who require daily medicine.
Martinez-Olmos reached out to his attorney, who put the case back on the court’s calendar for consideration, but only after one month had passed since finding out he was ineligible.
Assistant District Attorney Adam Howland argued that Martinez-Olmos’ failure to enroll in an ARC constituted a violation of his probation and called for him to be remanded back into custody for three years in light of his original crimes.
He stands convicted of seven felony charges and two misdemeanor charges.
“It’s important that the Court follow through with the warnings and admonitions given to the defendant,” said Howland today in court.
“We see very few people in this county with this amount of drugs and a firearm,” said the ADA, calling for the revocation of the original probation conditions.
While the defense stipulated to most of the facts regarding the nature of the violation as alleged by the prosecution, an essential point of contention was Martinez-Olmos’s foreknowledge regarding his ineligibility at Jericho.
The prosecution noted that Martinez-Olmos had previously interviewed while in custody regarding his plea and that the interview had inquired into his physical and mental health.
In that interview, the existence of a prescription for depression was not noted.
However, Judge Clifford Anderson, III, also remarked that the report produced from that interview consisted of various other known inconsistencies, and therefore agreed with the defense that the information contained in that report was not dispositive evidence either way.
Neudorff reminded the court that his client had previously accrued 586 days of credit in time served. After failing to enroll at Jericho, he submitted himself into custody, albeit with a minor delay.
Neudorff asked that the original agreement be maintained, that Martinez-Olmos be released from custody contingent on his enrollment in an ARC.
“The issue is that the defendant failed to do what the court ordered, and what he agreed to do in the first place,” said the judge regarding Martinez-Olmos’s failure to enroll in an ARC.
Regarding the discrepancy between Martinez-Olmos’s interview responses and his need for antidepressant medication, which precluded him from complying with his probation, the judge said, “I don’t understand how after 250 days in custody, how all of this is suddenly discovered.”
Judge Anderson did not accept the prosecution’s recommendation and insisted that the original deal be reinstated, with the added condition that Martinez-Olmos’s tenure in an ARC is extended from six months to one year.
He placed the burden on the defense to locate a suitable ARC, considering Martinez-Olmos’s prescription, and agreed to finalize the sentence within a few weeks after a suitable center is found.
“Mr. Martinez-Olmos is getting this last opportunity he needs to make it work,” said the judge regarding his ruling.