Two men alleged to have trafficked more than 11 pounds of methamphetamine will remain held without bond pending trial and not be released on any conditions without further order of the court.
Judge Dustin Hunter and Kea Riggs of the 5th Judicial District Court in Roswell each granted the state’s motion for pretrial preventive detention at two separate hearings for George Clinton McAnnelly III, 37, and Jesus Munoz-Flores, 22, both of Las Vegas, Nevada.
The motion was granted by Riggs in the case of Munoz-Flores and Hunter in the case of McAnnelly.
In granting the motions, the court found the state through clear and convincing evidence presented at the hearings that McAnnelly and Munoz-Flores present a danger and that no conditions of release exist that could reasonably ensure the safety of the public and witnesses or that the men would appear in court as required.
A lack of direct connections to Roswell, the large quantity of methamphetamine seized — a total of about 11.7 pounds — and a history of failing to comply with conditions of release by at least one of the men, were all cited by the judges for reason to continue holding McAnnelly and Munoz-Flores without bond.
Defense attorneys for both men argued that their clients should be allowed to post bond. Frank Patterson, representing Munoz-Flores, said his client had a friend in Roswell he could stay with while the case is underway.
Ira Shiflett, an attorney representing McAnnelly, said his client would prefer to return to Nevada while the case is pending, but could find a suitable place to stay in Chaves County while out on bond if necessary.
McAnnelly and Munoz-Flores were arrested on the morning of Sept. 25 at a motel in the 3500 block of North Main Street, after an employee allegedly found nine packages of what she believed to be narcotics in room 125.
A detective with the Criminal Investigations Unit of the Roswell Police Department called to the motel the morning of the incident in question, was called as a witness by the prosecution at both hearings.
The detective said although both men left the motel before police arrived, McAnnelly was later spotted and arrested at a location inside the motel that was not in room 125. Munoz-Flores was waiting for him in a vehicle outside. Both men were then detained.
When he testified, the detective said it is his belief McAnnelly and Munoz-Flores traveled from Nevada to Roswell to pick up a large quantity of methamphetamine to then take to an unknown location.
He said McAnnelly, when questioned by investigators about why he was in Roswell, claimed he had come to fix a bus. However, no tools were later found in the vehicle.
The nine packages found in the room tested positive for the presence of methamphetamine. When a search warrant was later executed on the vehicle Munoz-Flores was in at the time of his arrest, another pound of methamphetamine was discovered wrapped in a manner similar to those in the motel room.
An affidavit states that during the search of the vehicle, police also discovered a 9 mm handgun located under the center console, two cellphones, a measuring spoon with traces of what is believed to be heroin, a plastic baggie containing syringes and a box of 9 mm ammunition.
The detective when questioned by the prosecution at both hearings said the total street value of the methamphetamine recovered was between $65,000 and $100,000.
The 11.7 pounds found was far more than what would be used by someone for personal use, according to the detective. He added that a serious user used between 1 and 3 grams a day, far less than the amount recovered.
Attorneys for both McAnnelly and Munoz-Flores asked the detective if there was evidence that would tie their respective clients to the motel room. The detective admitted he did not know of any.
The room itself was reserved by an unknown third party and the detective did not know if McAnnelly and Munoz-Flores ever had a key to the room.
However, the detective said investigators are awaiting DNA tests on the packages found in the motel and the firearm found in the vehicle. He added that some incriminating statements were also made by Munoz-Flores, in which he implicated both himself and McAnnelly.
Specifics about those comments were not revealed at either of the hearings.
Munoz-Flores and McAnnelly are next scheduled to appear in Chaves County Magistrate Court for a preliminary hearing Oct. 8 and 9 respectively.
Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.