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Taft Midway Driller - Taft, CA
  • Barraza pleads no contest to drug trafficking: 19 other counts dismissed

  • He will be sentenced on August
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  •  A Taft man arrested on multiple illegal weapons charges and drug dealing pleaded no contest to possession of a controlled substance for sale at a preliminary hearing Wednesday.
    Nineteen other counts, including numerous counts alleging unlawful possession of a firearm and trafficking on illegal weapons, were dismissed.
    Joe Brian Barraza, 26, is scheduled to be sentenced on the drug trafficking count on Aug. 27.
    He was arrested on July 15 when he and a codefendant, Daniel Valdez, 30, were arrested on a burglary charge. A search of Barraza's home led to the discovery of numerous weapons and 100 grams of methamphetamine, Kern County Sheriff's deputies said at the time.
    A charge of burglary and eight counts of possession of a firearm were dismissed for insufficient evidence, according to Kern County Superior Court records, and four felony counts of trafficking in weapons with large capacity magazines were dismissed “in the furtherance of justice” which usually indicates the charges were dropped as part of a plea agreement.
    Barraza is being held on $100,000 bail.
    Valdez has pleaded not guilty to possession of a controlled substance, possession of stolen property, petty theft, possession of paraphernalia and being under the influence of a controlled substance.
    He is scheduled to be back in court on Aug. 27.
     
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