Plea dismisses charges against co-defendants in Storey County pot bust |

Plea dismisses charges against co-defendants in Storey County pot bust

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer

VIRGINIA CITY – A former Storey County man charged in the possession of 30 pounds of marijuana signed a plea agreement on Friday that wiped out the charges against his two co-defendants and could eventually mean he won’t ever be convicted of anything.

Justin Warren Cain, 23, pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of sale as part of an agreement drafted by defense attorney Scott Freeman and made with Storey County District Attorney Harold Swafford.

According to the agreement, Swafford will not object to a diversion program, which means if Cain completes conditions set by the judge in an allotted amount of time, the remaining charge against him will be dismissed.

“I’m leaving the sentencing up to the judge to determine,” Swafford said.

On May 9, Cain, his sister, Jessica Ross, 18, and Ryan Sterton, 19, were arrested on suspicion of possession of marijuana with intent to sell, and possession of drug paraphernalia after officers searched Cain’s Lockwood home and allegedly found the marijuana packaged for sale.

Cain was additionally booked on suspicion of possession of a firearm in proximity to a controlled substance and child endangerment after deputies discovered Cain’s 4-year-old child was also in the home. The child was released to the mother, who lives elsewhere.

Ross was allegedly found to have a large number of Vicodin tablets in her purse. She was additionally booked on possession of a prescription drug without a prescription.

Two vehicles were also seized after marijuana was found in the trunk of one of them. Investigators believe both were used to transport the drugs or help in the sales.

Cain is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 17. The judge could sentence him to up to four years in prison.

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.