Suspect denies drug trafficking |

Suspect denies drug trafficking

Staff Reports

A Carson City man, with three drug-related felony convictions, pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of trafficking and being a habitual criminal which carries up to a life sentence.

District Judge Michael Gibbons set a Feb. 5 trial date for Daniel David Johnson, 51, accused of two crimes May 30 and July 26.

He pleaded not guilty to trafficking in a controlled substance, methamphetamine; and habitual offender.

The drug charges involve trafficking in 4 grams of methamphetamine and 14 grams of methamphetamine on two occasions.

Some of Johnson’s codefendants reached plea agreements, which mandate that they testify truthfully against him in exchange for lesser charges.

District Judge Michael Gibbons refused to lower Johnson’s bail of $56,783.

Defense lawyer Matt Ence said his client had been in custody for almost two months, and that three counts against him were dismissed at a preliminary hearing.

Prosecutor Erik Levin objected.

“These are very, very serious charges which certainly provides incentive to flee. He is a risk to the public,” Levin said.

Gibbons said Johnson’s three priors involved drugs, and the habitual criminal charge had the potential for a life sentence.

“The bail may seem high, but considering the allegations, it’s not,” Gibbons said.

He set a hearing for Sept. 23 to determine whether the two cases would be joined, or if he would have to schedule two trials.

Johnson’s prior convictions were March 22, 2004, Carson City, sale of a controlled substance; July 30, 2001, Carson City, possession with intent to sell; and April 13, 1995, Woodland, Calif., possession of a controlled substance.