Truckee man pleads to cocaine-for-sale charge
A resident of Truckee’s Coachland mobile home park pleaded no contest Tuesday to a felony count of possessing cocaine with intent to sell.
At a preliminary hearing in Nevada County Superior Court in Truckee, Uzziel Lopez, 23, accepted responsibility for the felony cocaine charge.
At the same time, Deputy District Attorney Bill Cornell dropped a felony charge of child endangerment against Lopez and his wife, Krista M. Linde, 19, after tests showed their 3-month-old child had not been exposed to the drug.
In October, Truckee Police officers arrested Lopez at the couple’s Coachland residence, after a search turned up a half-ounce of cocaine, scales and packaging materials, said Truckee Police Sgt. Dan Johnston in a news release.
Police also arrested Linde on suspicion of felony child endangerment, a charge filed against Lopez as well. However, during Tuesday’s preliminary hearings, Cornell announced he was dropping the felony child-endangerment charges.
Following the arrests, Tahoe Forest Hospital tested the child to determine any contact with illicit drugs. The infant was then placed in the custody of Nevada County Social Services.
“Child Protective Services did the investigation and returned the child to the mother almost immediately,” Cornell said in a phone interview Tuesday.
When searching the couple’s residence, investigators located a small amount of cocaine on a closet shelf about six feet off the floor ” evidence the parents made an attempt to keep the drugs away from the toddler, Cornell said.
“The house was found to be very neat and tidy ” an indication that there was little child endangerment,” he said.
On Tuesday, Lopez pleaded no contest to felony charges of possession for sale of a controlled substance. The plea is an acknowledgment that the prosecutor has enough evidence to obtain a conviction, without a specific admission of guilt.
Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 8, after the judge reviews the case file and probation report. Lopez is expected to serve no more than two years in state prison.