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California mayor's husband faces drug charges

The husband of the mayor of Montebello has pleaded not guilty to three counts of possession with the intent to sell meth, three counts of transportation or sale of meth and one count of possession of meth within 1,000 feet of a middle school. The District Attorney's Office says that the man faces up to 11 years in state prison if he is convicted on the drug charges.

The charges against the man were levied after he allegedly sold meth to an undercover detective near Montebello Intermediate School. According to the prosecution, the man made three separate transactions with an undercover detective on Sept. 26, Oct. 2 and Oct. 15, and the sheriff's department says that it has audio recordings and video footage of the transactions. It was not until Oct. 17 that the 44-year-old was taken into custody as he was leaving his home. Later, he posted $60,000 bail and was released from custody. The mayor's husband is due to appear in court on Jan. 15 to schedule a preliminary hearing.

The man's defense attorney says that he is waiting to receive copies of the audio and video. He expects that there is more to discover about the case before both sides are prepared for a preliminary hearing that decides if there is enough evidence for a trial. The attorney also believes that the allegation that his client was selling meth near a middle school is "hard to believe."

In order protect the rights of his client, the attorney defending the mayor's husband may review the evidence obtained by the undercover detective. If evidence or the process through which it was gathered is questionable, the attorney may be able to cast doubt on the prosecution's case during the preliminary hearing. If he is successful, the charges against his client may be lowered or thrown out entirely.

Source: CBS LA, "Montebello Mayor’s Husband Pleads Not Guilty To Drug Charges", November 25, 2013

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