TWIN FALLS — A Twin Falls woman is accused of trafficking methamphetamine after police found an unopened package with 995.8 grams — or 2.2 pounds — of the drug at her house.
Laura Banda-Pineda, 31, was arraigned Tuesday in Twin Falls County Fifth District Court. She’s charged with felony trafficking in methamphetamine.
Three other people were also arraigned Tuesday related to the case.
Laura Javier, 25, of Twin Falls, is charged with felony possession of a controlled substance.
Keisha Nicole Miller, 26, of Twin Falls and Jose Daniel Avina-Bon, 18, Jerome, are charged with misdemeanor frequenting a place where a controlled substance is used, manufactured, cultivated, held, delivered or given.
Here’s what happened, according to a court affidavits:
Twin Falls police executed a search warrant for illegal drugs about 1:45 p.m. Monday in the 1800 block of Hoodie Lane in Twin Falls.
There was an unopened package with a white crystal substance at the house, which police recognized to be meth.
Less than five minutes later, Banda-Pineda arrived at the house. The passenger in the car said she and Banda-Pineda returned to the house to pick up a package Miller told them had just arrived.
Banda-Pineda told police she lived at the house. The package was addressed in her name.
During an interview with the Drug Enforcement Administration conducted in Spanish, Banda-Pineda said she received a phone call about receiving packages with meth.
“After first declining, Banda-Pineda said she ultimately agreed to receive mailed packages in exchange for $200 cash,” according to court records.
After she received packages, she dropped them off in Jerome on the side of the road “to be picked up by unknown individuals.”
She told law enforcement she has received three or four packages and “gets $200 in an envelope in her garage after transferring the packages.”
When questioned by police, Javier said she has lived in the house for a little more than a year.
She admitted to smoking meth about every other day — and occasionally, twice a day. She also admitted to manufacturing glass meth pipes.
Miller told police she has been living in the house for about three days because she left a family member’s house due to family issues. Miller told police she was aware the other occupants were using marijuana and meth.
“Ms. Miller said she believed there was also marijuana drug sells occurring from the residence since she had been staying there,” according to court records. “Ms. Miller has a 5-month-old baby boy she was caring for while staying in the home as well.”
Avina-Bon told police he has visited the house multiple times to repair several vehicles and an ATV. He said he doesn’t use illegal drugs, but assumed the homeowners did.
When the officer searched Avina-Bon’s left front jacket pocket, he found a small sandwich bag with the corner torn off.
“In my experience in law enforcement this is a common way for an individual to package drugs into the corner and twist the corner off and seal the end so they can sell the packaged item,” a police officer wrote in an affidavit.
Avina-Bon told the officer the bag was from a Roberto’s burrito, but there wasn’t any food residue in the bag.
The four people were booked into Twin Falls County Jail.
Banda-Pineda’s bond is set at $100,000. A preliminary hearing is Nov. 17.
Javier, Miller and Avina-Bon were released on their own recognizance. Javier’s preliminary hearing is Nov. 17, while Miller’s pretrial is Jan. 3, 2018, and Avina-Bon’s pretrial is Dec. 27.