Comments Off on Owner of Rico’s Groceries, Antonio Rico-Sanchez, 49, Bend. arrested on suspicion of using store to sell Methamphetamine

The owner of a grocery store in Bend was arrested last week on suspicion of selling methamphetamine at his store for the second time in four years, according to court and Oregon Liquor Control Commission records.

Antonio Rico-Sanchez, 49, who is also referred to as Antonio Rico in public records, is the owner of Rico’s Groceries on NE Third Street, as well as Rico’s Tacos, according to state business records.

He now faces indictment by a grand jury on two counts of delivery of methamphetamine, according to Deschutes County Circuit Court records.

Deschutes County Circuit Judge Beth Bagley signed a bench warrant for Rico-Sanchez’s arrest Feb. 23 after Deschutes County Chief Deputy District Attorney Stephen Gunnels filed a probable cause affidavit.

During arraignment Feb. 25, Deschutes County Circuit Presiding Judge Alta Brady set bail at $100,000. Court records show Rico-Sanchez signed a security release agreement that same day; he is no longer in county custody, according to the Deschutes County jail.

Two Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team reports, enclosed in Rico-Sanchez’s case file, show the regional drug investigation team sent a confidential criminal informant to Rico’s Groceries to purchase methamphetamine Jan. 21 and Jan. 28.

CODE Detective James McLaughlin wrote in the case report on the second controlled buy on Jan. 28 that Rico “has been a CODE team target for approximately 8 months.” The team has been investigating commercial-quantity illicit drug sales and fraudulent Oregon Trail Card charges for those sales, McLaughlin wrote.

CODE recorded audio and video of the controlled buys, according to the reports. During each buy the criminal informant purchased about one-half ounce of methamphetamine, which showed presumptive positive results for methamphetamine after field tests.

Last year, the OLCC canceled Rico-Sanchez’s off-premises liquor license after an administrative law judge determined Rico-Sanchez failed to disclose his criminal history when applying for a license renewal in 2011, OLCC records show.

In September 2012, Rico-Sanchez was convicted on one count of delivering methamphetamine in Deschutes County, according to the Oregon Judicial Information Network. According to an April 2014 OLCC final order canceling the license, detectives recovered $40,000 worth of methamphetamine during the course of that investigation and determined Rico’s Groceries was the location for most of the sales.

He was sentenced to 13 months in prison and three years of post-prison supervision, according to the Oregon Judicial Information Network. Rico-Sanchez testified during a December 2013 OLCC administrative hearing that he served eight months of that sentence.

Under OLCC requirements, applicants for license renewal must list “all arrests or convictions for any crime, violation, or infraction of any law during the last 18 months even if they are not liquor related for anyone who holds a financial interest in the business.”

In April 2013, Rico-Sanchez told an OLCC inspector that he had not answered the question when he was filling out the renewal application form in August 2011 because his attorney was still negotiating the charges with the district attorney, according to the final order. Under Oregon law, the commission of a felony can lead to cancellation of suspension of a liquor license.

“The false statements on the application and the felony conviction — for delivering methamphetamine using the licensed premises — are sufficiently severe that the Commission is justified to interpret Licensee’s previous record of compliance as a poor one,” wrote Steven Marks, executive director of the OLCC.

Rico-Sanchez is scheduled to appear in court March 11 for arraignment on indictment.








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