Friday, March 26, 2010

Hailey man admits to marijuana sale

ISP investigation leads to pot sale to undercover detective

Express Staff Writer

Calen Isaac Moore

A Hailey man pleaded guilty Monday to selling $100 worth of marijuana more than two years ago to an Idaho State Police undercover detective.

Calen Isaac Moore, 32, admitted to felony delivery of marijuana at a pretrial conference in Blaine County 5th District Court. The crime is punishable in Idaho by up to five years in prison. Sentencing was scheduled for May 3.

Moore's guilty plea was in accord with a plea agreement with the Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney's Office and averted a jury trial scheduled to start on April 13.

Hailey attorney Douglas Werth, assigned as public defender in the case, said in an interview after Monday's hearing that the prosecuting attorney's office agreed to recommend at sentencing that Moore receive a five-year suspended prison sentence, spend 90 days in the county jail and be placed on three years probation.

Details of the case against Moore are explained in a probable-cause affidavit filed by ISP Detective Cloyce Corder, who wrote that Moore sold 11.1 grams of marijuana for $100 on Feb. 26, 2008, to an ISP undercover detective in the parking lot at Albertsons grocery store in Hailey.

Corder wrote that eight law enforcement officers were involved in the bust. Four officers in two vehicles provided mobile surveillance, two more officers monitored an "electronic transmitting device" fitted on the detective making the purchase and a final officer took photos of the drug buy.

Gary Kaufman, a detective lieutenant for ISP Region 4 Investigations in Jerome, said in an interview that ISP used routine operating procedures in making the drug purchase.

"The bad guys don't always follow our script," Kaufman said. "Sometimes they don't show up on time, sometimes they arrive in two vehicles, sometimes they have guns. Whether we're buying a huge amount of meth from a gang or a small amount of marijuana, we take precautions. Our main concern is protecting our officer making the purchase."

Kaufman said the Moore case was intended to be a purchase for "climbing the ladder" to a larger marijuana bust of a "bigger source." However, he said, the case didn't materialize into a larger bust and ISP was left with only the one felony charge.

Moore wasn't charged until Oct. 13, 2009.

Prosecuting Attorney Jim Thomas explained the reason for the delay in an e-mail to the Idaho Mountain Express:

"Moore was part of a larger group of unrelated drug transactions and we needed them all to be complete since an ISP agent was the undercover officer in the hand-to-hand delivery with Moore. Once the cases were closed out, we filed on Moore."

Terry Smith:

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