Drug case avoids trial

Defendants enter guilty pleas
A couple of cases involving a pair of Grafton residents involving drugs and child endangerment were settled last Wednesday, April 20, in Northeast District Court.
Jose Ricardo Rodriguez and Sonya Garza who were sharing a residence in Grafton were charged in August of last year with unlawful possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and five counts of endangerment of a child.
The charges were the result of an investigation by the Grand Forks Narcotics Task Force who executed a search warrant on the residence Aug. 16 and found nearly three pounds of marijuana wrapped up in a bank bag. Also in the house at the time were five minor children ranging in age from 18 months to 16 years of age.
Besides the 44 ounces of marijuana found in a lazy susan, task force officers also found a digital scale, $765 in cash and paraphernalia.
Both Rodriguez and Garza were charged with unlawful possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, which is a Class A felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and or a $10,000 fine. There were also five counts of endangerment of a child, each a Class C felony, punishable by a maximum sentence of five years in prison and or a $5,000 fine.
On Wednesday Rodriguez, with Judge Laurie Fontaine presiding, entered a guilty plea to the possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and one count of endangerment of a child. Judge Fontaine ordered a pre-sentence investigation (PSI) and will sentence him in approximately six weeks when the PSI is completed. There are no prior felony charges on his record.
Garza pled guilty to one charge of reckless endangerment. The rest of the charges were dismissed. The state had no evidence she delivered any of the marijuana, but was aware it was present in the house.
Garza also received a deferred imposition of sentence, as she had no criminal prior convictions. She will be placed on supervised probation.

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