Wednesday, May 2, 2012

N.M. man extradited on drug charge

Suspect accused of felony in 2011 Blaine County indictment


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

Robert Javier Garcia Jr.

The long arm of the law has reached out and grabbed a 27-year-old New Mexico man who was wanted in Blaine County on a felony drug charge filed against him almost a year ago in a grand jury indictment.

Robert Javier Garcia Jr., formerly of Hailey, was extradited to Blaine County last week after being arrested near Santa Fe in mid-March. He remains incarcerated in the Blaine County jail on $100,000 bond.

Garcia is charged with the felony crime of aiding and abetting delivery of methamphetamine in a Blaine County grand jury indictment issued June 3, 2011. He was one of nine suspects indicted by the grand jury and one of several suspects who were not then arrested because they could not be found.

Blaine County Sheriff Gene Ramsey said Garcia's whereabouts had remained under investigation since the issuance of the indictment. He said Garcia was located last month by U.S. marshals near Santa Fe and then arrested on the Blaine County warrant.

Garcia was arraigned on the charge last week in Blaine County 5h District Court. He pleaded not guilty and a jury trial was scheduled to begin July 24.

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At the request of Hailey attorney Cheri Hicks, court appointed to represent Garcia, Judge Robert J. Elgee agreed to lower bond from $250,000 to $100,000.

Hicks asked that bond be reduced to $10,000, saying Garcia needed to be working to support his family, but Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matt Fredback objected to the lower amount on the grounds that Garcia had failed to appear previously on other criminal charges.

Garcia is accused in the grand jury indictment of participating in a methamphetamine sale to a police confidential informant on Aug. 25, 2010.

In a case investigated by the Blaine County Narcotics Enforcement Team, Garcia was allegedly a co-conspirator in the drug sale with two other men who have now pleaded guilty and been sentenced to prison.

Jose Manuel Hurtado-Delatorre, 28, was sentenced by Elgee on March 12 to four and a half years in prison for conviction of a single count of delivery of methamphetamine. Ricardo Vargas-Hurtado, 22, was sentenced by Elgee also on March 12 to four and a quarter years in prison for conviction of two counts of aiding and abetting delivery of methamphetamine.

Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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