Judge won't lower drug suspect's bail

East Fork Justice Jim EnEarl refused Friday to reduce the $250,000 cash bail for a 54-year-old Gardnerville man facing charges of trafficking and selling methamphetamine.

Kenneth Howard Pestana, 54, was arrested on two counts of trafficking in methamphetamine and one count of sales of methamphetamine.

"Any chance for a bail reduction?" Pestana asked at his first court appearance Friday. 'I'm not going anywhere."

Reviewing Pestana's criminal history and the new charges, prosecutor Laurie Trotter asked the bail remain.

"He faces mandatory prison if convicted," she said. "He is a flight risk and these charges are significant."

Douglas County's Special Weapons and Tactics team executed a search warrant Thursday on Pestana's home in the 1000 block of Centerville Lane based on a seven-month investigation.

Also arrested at the home was Dawn Marie Jennings, 29, who was being sought by the Nevada Department of Parole and Probation for absconding after being convicted on methamphetamine charges.

She originally gave officers false information, but investigators discovered her identity while still at the scene. She was arrested and is being held without bail.

On her booking sheet, Jennings listed her occupation as "drug user."

The investigation was conducted by members of the Douglas County Street Enforcement Team, TriNET, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Sheriff's Sgt. Jim Halsey said authorities believe Pestana was involved with the sales of methamphetamine in Douglas and surrounding counties.

Pestana is a painting contractor, who was convicted of second-degree murder in 1973 and did time in Soledad Prison.

He moved to Carson Valley in the 1990s. Charges of kidnapping were dropped against him in 2005. He said his accuser was doing a lot of methamphetamine.

He told EnEarl he planned to retain Reno lawyer Arnold Brock who successfully defended him against the kidnapping charges.

EnEarl set Pestana's next court appearance for Wednesday.


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