Jose Marin Aranda and Juan Silva Castaneda were formally charged Thursday in court with possession of more than 140 grams of cocaine with intent to deliver.Aranda,33, appeared before Judge Kent Turnbull and Castaneda, 34, before Lincoln County Judge Michael Piccolo.
The two were arrested July 6 after the Nebraska State Patrol stopped their vehicle on I-80 for only having one license plate and an expired registration. They had five and one-half pounds of cocaine with them, according to the NSP report.
Five and half pounds of cocaine would be worth about $65,000 in Nebraska, according to estimates on the Narcotic News website.
Aranda asked for an interpreter.
Through the interpreter, Turnbull explained Aranda’s rights and told him he could face 20 years to life in prison if convicted.
Aranda previously told the court that he would hire his own lawyer, but this time he asked for a court appointed attorney.
“Your bond was set by another judge at $500,000,” Turnbull said. “That will not change based upon the amount of cocaine. Nebraska is a 10% state, so $50,000 will get you out.”
“What are the chances my case will go federal?” Aranda asked.
Turnbull said the odds are high that will happen
“If I pay the $50,000 bond, is it possible the feds will still arrest me?” Aranda asked.
“Yes,” Turnbull replied.
Amanda thanked the interpreter for his help.
Likewise, Piccolo advised Castaneda of the maximum sentence. Castaneda asked for a lawyer and public defender Martin Troshynski was assigned to the case.
Castaneda’s bond remains at $500,000.
Both defendants are also held on Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) bonds.
Also in court, Dustin Smith, 37, was sentenced to 60 days in the county jail for resisting arrest and third-degree assault.
He pled no contest in a deal that reduced the resisting charge to a misdemeanor and dismissed related charges.
Smith was arrested July 4. Police said he went to a woman’s home and tried to punch her boyfriend.
When Smith was arrested, he tried to tackle the officer.
In exchange for the plea, Deputy County Attorney Kortnei Hoeft recommended a 60-day sentence because he attempted to tackle the officer.
“I think alcohol was involved,” she said.
Defense Attorney Kent Florom agreed.
“I think he had been celebrating a little too much,” Florom said.
Turnbull gave him credit for eight days served.