Spice trial moved to April | NevadaAppeal.com

Spice trial moved to April

Steve Puterski
sputerski@lahontanvalleynews.com

Cowboys and cowgirls will honor the late Rachel Hendrix during Saturday's Grand Entry at the Churchill County Fairgrounds.

The federal trial for two Fallon residents accused of selling spice has been continued until April 1.

Gurpreet Lail Singh and Ranjeet Singh will appear in U.S. District Court on numerous charges of distributing the synthetic marijuana. Their trial was originally slated for Jan. 21.

The duo, along with James Christensen and Parvin Rajput, were arrested on Feb. 6, 2013, by the Drug Enforcement Agency, Fallon Police Department and the North Central Narcotics and Tri-NET task forces.

A federal grand jury returned a second superseding indictment Sept. 11 against Gurprett Singh and Ranjeet Singh, who were arrested in connection with selling spice.

Authorities seized 2.78 pounds of spice and approximately 100 smoking pipes, according to federal records.

Parvin Rajput and James Christensen each entered their pleas in October and will be sentenced in February. Rajput, who pleaded on Oct. 10, faces a maximum sentence of 20 years, a $1 million fine or both. There is no mandatory minimum sentence in his case and his hearing is scheduled for Monday.

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According to the plea agreement, the United State will recommend the court sentence Rajput to the "low-end" of the sentencing guidelines.

Rajput pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute a controlled substance and controlled substance analogue, according to the plea agreement. In addition, he waives his right to withdraw the plea, while the federal government agrees not to bring any additional charges.

Christensen, meanwhile, entered pleas to three counts of possession of a controlled substance analogue intended for human consumption. He faces one year in prison for each count, a $100,000 fine or both.

Christensen admitted he possessed spice on three different occasions on July 6, 2012. He will be sentenced Feb. 11.

In other court news —

A Utah resident pleaded guilty Tuesday in District Court to obtaining a false hunting license.

Abram Cade Croney, formerly of Elko, was fined $2,000 and ordered to pay $250 for use of the public defender for one count of a false statement to obtain a license, tag or permit, a gross misdemeanor. He will not be allowed to hunt in Nevada for three years.

Croney said he did live in Utah, but called the Nevada Department of Wildlife to clarify if he could still purchase a resident tag. He said a representative of NDOW confirmed he could.

Churchill County Deputy District Attorney Ben Newman said Croney cheated the system and applied for more than 20 tags and was selected for three big game licenses — big horn sheep, antelope and elk.

Croney told the court he applied for resident tags in Nevada and non-resident permits in Utah. Charges against him in Utah were dismissed.

Jana Renee Coker pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of commission of an unauthorized act relating to a controlled substance near a park, school, school bus stop or recreational facility.

According to the criminal complaint, Coker sold methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of Pioneer Park and the Churchill County Youth Softball fields in August 2013.

She faces one to six years in prison with a one to six year enhancement for selling drugs near a school or public facility. The sentences run concurrent, although she is eligible for probation.

Mitchell John Mitchell pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of battery that constitutes domestic violence, a third or subsequent offense.

He admitted to battering his wife and faces one to five years in prison. He is not eligible for probation and will be sentenced April 8.

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