Friday, June 11, 2010

New charges filed against Santos

Grand jury indicts Sarah Johnsonís ex-boyfriend on 3 counts

Express Staff Writer

Bruno Santos

Bruno Santos, the former boyfriend of convicted murderer Sarah Johnson, faces the possibility of three life prison sentences if convicted of charges filed against him Thursday by a Blaine County grand jury.

After being convened Wednesday by the Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, the grand jury indicted Santos on felony counts of trafficking in methamphetamine, trafficking in cocaine and delivery of cocaine.

Santos, 26, was arraigned on the charges Thursday morning in Blaine County 5th District Court.

Prosecuting Attorney Jim Thomas said in an interview that the methamphetamine charge is for a half-pound sale of the drug Santos allegedly made to an Idaho State Police undercover detective on May 14 in Hailey. Santos was arrested then, along with his cousin Jose Benitez-Diaz, 27, from Ogden, Utah.

Benitez-Diaz was also indicted by the grand jury. He was charged with conspiracy to trafficking in methamphetamine, a crime also punishable in Idaho by up to life in prison. Both Benitez-Diaz and Santos remain incarcerated in the Blaine County jail.

The federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has accused both men of being in the United States illegally.

Thomas said the cocaine charges stem from alleged drug sales made by Santos in a joint investigation conducted by ISP and the Blaine County Narcotics Enforcement Team. Thomas said Santos is accused of cocaine sales on April 25 and April 30 in the alley behind the Cellar Pub in Ketchum, where Santos was employed.

Santos was at one time a suspect in the 2003 murders of Alan and Diane Johnson at the couple's home in Bellevue. Sarah Johnson, now 23, was convicted in 2005 of killing her parents and is now serving two life prison sentences without the possibility of parole.

Terry Smith:

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