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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Drug trial continued until February

  • A trial has been continued for one of the men who was arrested for alleged drug crimes after Leavenworth police received an accidental 911 call.
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  • A trial has been continued for one of the men who was arrested for alleged drug crimes after Leavenworth police received an accidental 911 call.
    The trial for Jesus D. Santos, 26, was scheduled to start next week. It now has been continued until Feb. 4.
    Santos was arrested March 1 after Leavenworth police received a 911 call.
    The dispatcher could hear what sounded like a disturbance in the background, according to Maj. Dan Nicodemus, deputy chief of the Leavenworth Police Department.
    Police located the source of the call and met with Santos and Jesus E. Suarez. While at the scene, police found what they believed to be crack cocaine, according to Nicodemus.
    It’s believed the 911 call was dialed by accident on a cell phone belonging to Suarez.
    Santos is charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute with a prior conviction, conspiracy to distribute cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia and violation of a drug tax stamp law.
    He appeared Wednesday in Leavenworth County District Court with his attorney, Gregory Robinson.
    “There’s been some discovery issues,” Robinson said.
    He said he received three additional videos Tuesday as part of the discovery process. And he received an email Wednesday morning that referenced other evidence.
    Robinson also noted there have been ongoing plea negotiations in the case.
    “I’m pretty confident we’re going to resolve this matter with a plea,” he said.
    The defense attorney noted that a Kansas Bureau of Investigation scientist was supposed to testify during the trial that was scheduled to begin Monday.
    Robinson said he realized it can be difficult to reschedule a KBI scientist as a witness. The attorney said the defense had no problem stipulating that the substance found by police was crack cocaine.
    Assistant County Attorney Joan Lowdon said the prosecution had made three specific requests to authorities for discovery evidence. She said the prosecution made the videos available to the defense as soon as they were received by the County Attorney’s Office, which was last week. Robinson didn’t pick them up until Tuesday.
    Lowdon also said, if there was to be a stipulation, she wanted it in writing.
    District Judge Gunnar Sundby expressed concern about the defense receiving discovery evidence a week before trial. He said this could result in a new trial being granted on an appeal if there were to be a conviction.
    “I try not to try these cases twice,” he said.
    The judge recognized the discovery evidence was “newly discovered” and the prosecution had not been sitting on it.
    Sundby ruled there was good cause for granting the defense’s oral motion for a continuance.
    Page 2 of 2 - Because the continuance was requested by the defense, speedy trial requirements will not be a factor.
    Sundby said the continuance was contingent on the defense providing the written stipulation requested by the prosecution.
    A motion hearing also had been scheduled for Friday in advance of Santos’ trial. The prosecution has filed a motion seeking to use evidence of prior convictions for drug crimes during the trial.
    The hearing was rescheduled for Oct. 24 at the suggestion of Robinson.
    Last month, Suarez was sentenced to more than 14 years for crimes related to the March 1 incident. He pleaded guilty in August to several drug charges.

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