VENTURA : 2 Men Found Guilty of Selling Cocaine
Two Los Angeles men have been found guilty of bringing to Ventura two kilograms of cocaine that were later sold to undercover agents.
After a four-day trial and one day of deliberation, the Ventura County Superior Court jury on Thursday found Cesar Fernandez, 59, and Carlos Alfonso Amaya, 34, guilty of conspiracy to sell or transport cocaine, possession of cocaine for sale and sale of cocaine.
According to the complaint, Fernandez provided the cocaine and Amaya drove it from Los Angeles to Ventura last Oct. 19. Amaya was accompanied by a Van Nuys man, Henry Munoz, who has since pleaded guilty to transporting cocaine and is serving a one-year jail sentence.
The complaint said Amaya drove to the Harbortown Marina Resort Hotel in Ventura, where Mario R. Waters, then the hotel’s manager, picked up the cocaine. Waters immediately delivered the cocaine to an undercover agent parked at the nearby Olivas Park Golf Course, the complaint said, and all four suspects were arrested.
Waters, who faced the same charges as Fernandez and Amaya, pleaded guilty Dec. 21 and has been sentenced to six years in prison.
Amaya faces up to eight years in prison and Fernandez up to 11 years when they are sentenced April 11 by Judge Charles R. McGrath. Fernandez faces more time because of a priorconviction, according to his attorney, Jerry Kaplan.
But Kaplan said he hopes to see the convictions overturned on the ground that he was not able to cross-examine an informant whose testimony was the foundation of the prosecution’s case.
The informant, Gaylord G. Edgington, 43, was murdered in an unrelated incident Jan. 11.
McGrath allowed Edgington’s testimony from the preliminary hearing to be read to the trial jury.
Kaplan said he expects to file the appeal next week.