Drug trial ends in plea deal

Anthony Skeens, The Triplicate

A jury trial ended in a guilty plea on Tuesday in Del Norte Superior Court.

Horacio Campos-Soltero pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine and possession of meth with the intent sell after a motion to dismiss a charge of maintaining a residence for drug activity was granted.

The dismissal and guilty plea came before attorneys went into closing arguments.

"Justice was served," said defense attorney Darren McElfresh. "It's the way my client wanted to handle it and it went absolutely perfect with his wishes."

McElfresh said the case went to trial because of the count that was ultimately dismissed.

District Attorney Jon Alexander disagreed with Judge William Follett's decision to grant the dismissal motion.

"I spoke with one of the jurors after and he told me they would have convicted on the (maintaining a house for drug activity count)," said Alexander.

Campos-Soltero was arrested earlier this year after a search warrant was executed by authorities who said they found nearly 13 grams of methamphetamine at a trailer he was living in at Sunset by the Sea on U.S. Highway 101 in Smith River.

Alexander said he was considering refiling the maintaining a drug house charge because Campos-Soltero admitted to selling about a half an ounce of meth a week, along with the evidence of packaging materials found at the residence.

"It is about protecting the community," said Alexander.

Reach Anthony Skeens at askeens@triplicate.com .

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