LAS VEGAS — Attorneys representing members of an alleged Mexican drug ring based in Las Vegas told a Nevada judge that prosecutors aren’t sharing the evidence that has been gathered against their clients.
Clark County District Court Judge Jerome Tao agreed Thursday to delay an arraignment for the man accused of being the ringleader and a handful of other suspects after the defense attorneys requested more time to review the case. A new hearing was scheduled for Tuesday.
Oscar Cavadas was indicted with 13 others Friday after police seized 212 pounds of methamphetamine and heroin during a July 12 drug raid in the Las Vegas area. It was believed to be the largest methamphetamine bust in Nevada’s history.
Defense attorneys representing Cavadas and at least six others facing charges in the case refused to enter pleas during a hearing Thursday, citing insufficient time to review the evidence that had been presented to the grand jury.
Las Vegas lawyer John Momot, who is representing Cavadas, said his requests to review wiretap orders, arrest warrants, wiretap transcripts and other evidence has not been granted. Cavadas, who also goes by the name Moreliano Zaragoza-Ramos, faces 22 charges, including drug trafficking, possession of a dangerous weapon and unlawful possession of a firearm. Momot said Cavadas, 26, couldn’t enter a plea because they could not review the evidence that was given to the grand jury.
Meanwhile, District Attorney Tina Sedlock renewed a request that a judge raise bail for some alleged members of the drug operation who had already been released on bond. During an earlier hearing, Sedlock persuaded a different judge to raise the bail of the suspects who were still in custody to $100,000 per count.
“None of the defendants have any ties to the community other than introducing large amounts of methamphetamine into the community,” she said during Thursday’s hearing. “Automatically, there’s an assumption of a flight risk.”
Tao ultimately raised bail for two people accused of being members of the drug operation who had posted bail and face life sentences. The suspects, Cecilia Salgado, 55, and Alejandro Gomez, 31, were handcuffed and taken back into custody. Salgado’s bail was raised to $50,000 and Gomez’s bail was raised to $100,000 per count.
Police during the raid seized 212 pounds of methamphetamine and heroin with an estimated street value of $5.7 million, along with $280,000 in cash, six guns and nine vehicles allegedly used for drug trafficking.