Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Grand jury indicts 9 on drug charges

Suspects charged for alleged cocaine and meth sales


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

A Blaine County grand jury has indicted nine people on 19 felony charges for alleged cocaine and methamphetamine sales in a year-long investigation conducted by the Blaine County Narcotics Enforcement Team.

Four of the suspects were arraigned Thursday, June 16, in Blaine County 5th District Court. A fifth suspect is scheduled for arraignment today, June 22. Four remaining suspects remained at large and their names have not been released by the Narcotics Enforcement Team, referred to by police officers as "the NET."

In a news release issued June 16, Ketchum Police Chief Steve Harkins, who serves as NET director, stated that the investigation involved undercover drug sales that the suspects allegedly made to police confidential informants. The NET, comprised of law enforcement agencies throughout Blaine County, was assisted in the investigation by Idaho State Police Investigations in Jerome.

Harkins reported that 6.6 ounces of cocaine and 2.6 ounces of methamphetamine were seized. The value of the drugs is about $26,000.

The grand jury was convened in Hailey in the first week of June. Most of the court records in the cases remained sealed until arraignments late last week.

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Alvaro Hurtado-Gomez, a 40-year-old Hailey resident, was arraigned on two counts of delivery of methamphetamine, one count of delivery of cocaine and one count of trafficking in cocaine. A grand jury indictment, stating that Hurtado-Gomez goes by the nickname "Biznaga," alleges that the sales were made between July and October 2010. He remains incarcerated in the Blaine County jail on $200,000 bond. Ketchum attorney Dan Dolan was appointed public defender.

Jessy Tinico Tellez, 20, of Hailey, was arraigned on a charge of trafficking in cocaine for an alleged drug sale in November 2010. He was released from the Blaine County jail on Sunday after posting $200,000 bond. He is represented by Hailey attorney Douglas Werth.

Jose Hurtado-Delatorre, 27, of Hailey, was arraigned on two counts of delivery of methamphetamine. A grand jury indictment, stating that Hurtado-Delatorre is also known as "Pepe," alleges that the sales were made in August 2010. Hurtado-Delatorre remains incarcerated in the Blaine County jail on $100,000 bond. Dolan was appointed public defender.

Ricardo Vargas-Hurtado, 22, of Ketchum, was arraigned on two counts of aiding and abetting delivery of methamphetamine for alleged participation in drug sales in August 2010. He remained incarcerated in the Blaine County jail on $100,000 bond. The Roark Law Firm in Hailey was appointed public defender.

Lisa Christine Justice, 41, of Twin Falls, is scheduled for arraignment today. She is charged in a grand jury indictment with one count of delivery of methamphetamine and one count of trafficking in methamphetamine for alleged drug sales in March. A sentence enhancement charge has also been filed against Justice, alleging that she is a "persistent violator." Bond has been set at $100,000. She is jailed in Twin Falls County, where she also faces a felony charge of possession of a controlled substance. Werth has been appointed public defender.

Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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