Three Carson City men accused of conspiracy to traffic drugs are free after a judge dropped charges against them Monday.
Deputy District Attorney Derek Dreiling conceded that the state's case against Jose Viera-Hernandez, 33, Kedir Diaz-Medina, 23, and Marco Montero-Mejia, 31, relied on weak evidence.
Investigators believed the men acted as lookouts while drug transactions took place, Dreiling said. He added that evidence that the men's surveillance was related to dealing was largely circumstantial and might fail in a jury trial.
They were among six Carson City men arrested by Tri-Net agents on drug-dealing charges earlier this month who were in Carson City Justice Court on Monday .
A motion for a continuance was granted in the case of Julien Montero-Partida after an officer involved in the investigation was unable to show for the hearing.
Justice of the Peace Robey Willis reduced bail for Montero-Partida, 28, from $250,00 to $5,000 after he cited long ties to the community and a clean record. The hearing was reset for Nov. 30 at 3 p.m.
Montero-Partida is accused of one count of dealing methamphetamine and three counts of possession.
A Drug Enforcement Agency confidential informant took the stand and implicated husband and wife Rene Acosta, 38, and Griselda Montero-Viera, 32, for their suspected involvement in three drug transactions.
During his testimony, the informant said he worked undercover to set up three transactions over the course of a couple weeks in the amounts of one ounce, one pound and five pounds of methamphetamine with Acosta.
After two successful buys, the informant said, he asked Acosta to get five pounds, adding that they agreed on a price of $30,000. However, on Nov. 2, the day of the final purchase, Acosta and Montero-Viera showed up with 4 1/2 pounds.
He later testified that he spent $550, $6,000 and $27,000 of DEA-supplied money on the purchases.
The informant said Acosta "told me it (the methamphetamine) was very good and it was very heavy." He said agents in surveillance vehicles pounced on Acosta and Montero-Viera after the informant walked away from the buy.
Three other men arrested in the drug sweep are scheduled for preliminary hearings in justice court today at 10 a.m. Jaime Hernandez-Robles, 27, Gavino Flores-Lara, 29, and Humberto Segura, 28, are charged with felony drug dealing and possession. They are being held on $250,000 bail each.