A local woman suspected of possessing and distributing a substantial amount of heroin this month is set for trial beginning March 15 on five felony charges.
Luz S. Leon, 37, pleaded not guilty Monday afternoon in Walla Walla County Superior Court to two counts of delivering heroin, in addition to possessing heroin and methamphetamine with the intent to deliver the controlled substances, and possessing an unlawful firearm.
Leon initially was arrested and booked into the County Jail earlier this month after she allegedly tried to ship packaged heroin through the Postal Annex, 1644 Plaza Way.
Because she has ties to the community and no criminal history, she later was released with conditions pending further court proceedings.
But she was taken into custody again Sunday after officials discovered she had successfully mailed concealed heroin addressed to an out-of-state prison inmate, according to a police report filed in court.
“She has access to a much larger volume of heroin than we normally see,” Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Gabriel Acosta said in court Monday.
Bail for Leon is set at $20,000.
She allegedly tried to ship about 4 ounces of suspected “China White” heroin through the Postal Annex to a California address on Jan. 9. The intended recipient isn’t identified in court records.
Police obtained a search warrant for the package the next day after a K-9 alerted on it during a sniff. The suspected heroin was found inside a stuffed animal, according to a police report.
Later that day, about 4 ounces of heroin was discovered at Leon’s residence at 104 S.E 12th St., Apt. B, in College Place, officials said.
Police also reportedly located about 3 ounces of suspected methamphetamine, small electronic scales, $832 cash and a short-barreled shotgun.
Since her arrest that day, police learned that a second package containing suspected heroin, which she also allegedly took to the Postal Annex on Jan. 9, actually was shipped. That package was addressed to an inmate at the Ironwood State Prison in Blythe, Calif., officials said.
Employees at the prison intercepted the package — ostensibly shipped from a Christian store — and found the suspected heroin in a freeze-pop package that had been placed inside the altered binding of a book, according to a police report.
Detectives noticed evidence of that type of activity when they served the search warrant at Leon’s residence, the report says.