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Cocaine case defendant facing new charges in court

Posted: December 21, 2011 - 1:03am

A Juneau resident already awaiting trial for delivering cocaine appeared in Juneau District Court on Tuesday for new charges leveled against him in a separate case.

Prosecutors allege Roberto Carranza, 23, delivered cocaine worth an estimated street value of $3,000 to an undercover informant who was monitored by police on three separate occasions this month while he was out on bail.

Carranza now faces three counts of misconduct involving a controlled substance in the third degree for knowingly delivering cocaine on Dec. 14, 15 and 16, all class ‘B’ felonies that carry maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a $100,000 fine. He was also charged with three counts of violating conditions of release for a felony, which is a class ‘A’ misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of one year imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.

Carranza and his twin bother, Jose, were arrested earlier this year in July after they received packages from Guadalajara, Mexico, that contained a total of 300 grams of cocaine, according to an affidavit filed in that case by Assistant District Attorney Angie Kemp.

A drug detection dog in the Cincinnati International Airport caught whiff of the drugs, and federal officers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Drug Enforcement Administration tracked the packages to an apartment complex in valley in Juneau.

Officers made contact with the recipient, who told police they were paid to receive and deliver the packages to “The Twins.” After a Juneau Police Department Drug Enforcement Unit officer obtained a search warrant, police recorded conversations between the twins and the informant who was cooperating with police, the affidavit said.

On July 12, the informant delivered one of the packages to Jose, and officers followed Jose to Marine View Apartments downtown where his brother Roberto resides, the affidavit said.

The informant delivered a second package to Roberto at the same apartment complex, where officers made contact with him as he left the building. His hands glowed under a black light, indicating the present of theft detection chemicals that had been sprayed on the contents of the package by officers, the affidavit alleged.

Officers then contacted Jose at the Gastineau Apartments, and his hands also glowed under a black light, the affidavit said.

JPD originally told the Empire that each package had a street value of $37,500 for a combined value of $75,000, according to Empire archives.

Both Carranza brothers were charged with misconduct involving a controlled substance in the third degree, a class ‘B’ felony. Jose pleaded guilty in late October to a lesser charge of misconduct involving a controlled substance in the fourth degree, a class ‘C’ felony that carries up to five years in prison and a $50,000 fine. He is presently awaiting sentencing, scheduled in Juneau Superior Court for Jan. 17, 2012.

Roberto’s jury trial in that case is scheduled for Jan. 9, 2012. After being held in custody immediately following his arrest, he was released on bail July 28, according to court documents.

The court had imposed an $8,000 unsecured appearance bond and a $2,000 cash performance bond. The $2,000 cash performance bond was posted by a woman on July 28, according to court records.

District Attorney Dave Brower alleges in a recent affidavit that an undercover informant working with police conducted three recorded controlled buys of cocaine, totalling 50 grams, on Dec. 14-16 from Roberto while he was out on bail. On the third buy he was arrested on North Franklin Street.

The Alaska Bureau of Investigation’s Southeast Alaska Cities Against Drugs task force (SEACAD) conducted the controlled buys and made the arrest, they said in an earlier dispatch. They were assisted by the JPD Drug Enforcement Unit, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, SEACAD said.

Carranza was arraigned on the new alleged offenses over the weekend before Magistrate Amanda Schulz in Ketchikan District Court. Schulz set bail at $15,000, cash performance bond, and appointed the Juneau Public Defender Agency to represent Carranza.

On Tuesday, Judge Thomas Nave set another court hearing for Dec. 27.

The state has already made a motion to forfeit bail, meaning if the new allegations are found to be true, the $2,000 posted on July 28 would be subject to forfeiture for violation of the court’s order to not violate any laws.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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