First guilty plea in drug raid

The first of five defendants entered a plea Monday to charges stemming from the attempted sale of a half pound of methamphetamine worth $25,000.

Coriano Chacon-Hernandez pleaded guilty to trafficking in a controlled substance.

He faces up to six years in prison and a $50,000 fine at his sentencing May 1 by District Judge Michael Gibbons.

Speaking through an interpreter, Hernandez denied that he helped in the transaction by serving as a lookout.

His lawyer, Jack Sheehan, said Hernandez was pleading guilty to avoid prosecution on more serious offenses.

He had faced a trafficking charge at a level that could mean life in prison if he were convicted.

Hernandez asked Gibbons how prosecutor Dina Salvucci came up with the charges.

"She wasn't even there. How would she know?" Hernandez said.

"Some of these things are not true. I am not a rat to tell you who. It's their job to figure it out," Hernandez said.

"I am not very pleased only because I had nothing to do with this," he said.

Salvucci said records indicate Hernandez allegedly was a passenger in a vehicle with one of the defendants described as "more culpable."

She said Hernandez reportedly was seen throwing a packet of methamphetamine from the window of the truck.

She said all the defendants have denied the charges.

Hernandez, 31, had been facing two counts of trafficking and one count of conspiracy. His bail was $135,000.

Three co-defendants - Leo Osorio Cahavez, 28, Catarino Vasquez-Esquivel, 27, and Marco Mendez, 29 - are awaiting preliminary hearings.

A fifth suspect, Teresa Castellanos Padilla, 22, is awaiting the outcome of her preliminary hearings before she proceeds with her case.

Deputies seized a half-pound of methamphetamine, a vehicle and $1,200 in cash during the arrest on Feb. 17 following a two-week investigation into activities at the home at 902 Peridot Court.


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