Friday, June 17, 2011

Santos pleads guilty in cocaine case

Agreement reached with prosecuting attorney’s office


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

Bruno Santos

Twenty-seven-year-old Bruno Santos changed his plea to guilty Thursday in a year-long case involving the sale of cocaine to a police confidential informant.

The guilty plea averted a jury trial that was scheduled to begin June 28.

In a separate case, Santos already has been sentenced to 14 years in prison after pleading guilty in March to selling methamphetamine in May 2010 to an Idaho State Police undercover detective. That sentence, which requires Santos to serve eight years before parole eligibility, was pronounced on June 6 by 5th District Court Judge Robert J. Elgee.

Santos was in court before Elgee again Thursday morning, this time to plead guilty to felony delivery of cocaine. That sale was made in April 2010 to a confidential informant for the Blaine County Narcotics Enforcement Team.

In exchange for his guilty plea, the Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney's Office has agreed to have a second felony count of trafficking in cocaine dismissed.

Sentencing in the cocaine case is scheduled for July 11.

According to the agreement, the prosecutors will recommend at sentencing that Santos receive an eight-year prison sentence with three years to be served before parole eligibility. The agreement states that the prosecuting attorney's office will not object to the sentence running concurrently with the sentence imposed in the methamphetamine case.

Santos, through his public defender Dan Dolan, is free to argue for a lesser sentence.

Santos has remained a prisoner at the Blaine County jail since his arrest in May 2010.

He is also accused by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency of being in the United States illegally.

Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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