Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Trials scheduled for Bruno Santos

Separate cases allege sales of cocaine, meth to police


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

Blaine County court interpreter Maria Djasran translates for Bruno Santos at a court hearing Monday. Photo by Willy Cook

Two trials have been scheduled for Bruno Santos, the former boyfriend of convicted murderer Sarah Johnson, on three counts of dealing in cocaine or methamphetamine.

Trial scheduling was held Monday in Blaine County 5th District Court. Santos is charged in two cases. A Blaine County grand jury indicted Santos in both cases on June 9.

In one case, Santos, 26, is charged with delivery of cocaine and trafficking in cocaine for allegedly selling the drug on April 25 and April 30 to a Blaine County Narcotics Enforcement Team confidential informant in Ketchum. Trial in that case was scheduled for Oct. 27.

In the second case, Santos is charged with trafficking in methamphetamine for allegedly selling a half pound of the drug to an Idaho State Police undercover detective on May 14 in Hailey. Also charged in that case with conspiracy to trafficking in methamphetamine is Jose Benitez-Diaz, a 27-year-old Ogden, Utah, man who court records describe as Santos' cousin.

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Trial in that case is set for Nov. 2.

Both Santos and Benitez-Diaz remain incarcerated in the Blaine County jail. Police allege that both men are in the United States illegally.

Santos was initially a suspect but was never charged in the 2003 murders of Alan and Diane Johnson at the couple's home in Bellevue. Sarah Johnson, now 23, was convicted of killing her parents in 2005 and is now serving two life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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