By Kelsey Givens
One of three people arrested last year after police allegedly discovered a large amount of methamphetamine inside of a vehicle pleaded not guilty in District Court on Monday.
Robert James Walsh, 34, is facing charges of trafficking a schedule one controlled substance, a category A felony, conspiracy to violate the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, a category C felony, and obtaining and using personal identifying information of another person to harm or impersonate the person, to obtain certain non-public records or for other unlawful purpose, a category C felony.
He was arrested by the Nye County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics and Street Crimes units in November 2011 after they reportedly received a tip that several individuals from Las Vegas were bringing a large amount of methamphetamine into Pahrump.
Deputies made contact with the suspect vehicle in the area of State Route 160 and State Route 372 around 2 a.m. and conducted a search of the car, where approximately two ounces of methamphetamine were allegedly discovered.
Walsh also reportedly had a credit card that belonged to someone else at the time of the incident, earning him an additional charge for falsely using the identification of another.
He was out of custody on Monday at the time of his arraignment.
Since Walsh is personally being held accountable for possessing 28 grams, or one ounce, of methamphetamine, the trafficking charge was upgraded from a category B felony to a category A felony.
According to Deputy District Attorney Tierra Jones, any charge alleging a person was in possession of more than 20 grams of methamphetamine constitutes a category A felony.
“Count one, if it’s 20 grams or more it’s a category A felony that carries a penalty of 10 to life,” she said.
Judge Kimberly Wanker did find what appeared to be a mistake in the information before her, stating he was only being charged with a category B.
“Folks, I want to stop you for a moment. Count one is listed as a category B felony, and it’s a category A felony,” she said.
After taking a closer look at the information as well, both the state and defense agreed it appeared to be a typo, based on the original charges filed in Pahrump Justice Court.
“After looking at the criminal complaint and what was charged down below, it was a category A; it must be a typo,” Walsh’s attorney Carl Joerger said.
“It looks to me like it was a typographical error and I would think that with the amount of the grams of meth it would go from a B to an A,” Wanker added. “So I’m going to interlineate, something I don’t normally do … I changed it and put my initials next to it so count one is a category A felony.”
Once all parties were on the same page about the offenses, Walsh was asked how he would like to plead to the charges against him.
To all three counts, Walsh pleaded not guilty.
He waived his right to a speedy trial, and a trial date was set for Dec. 4 through Dec, 6, 2013 alongside one of his co-defendants.
A calendar call was also scheduled for one month prior to the trial on Nov. 4, 2013.