Defendant Gabino Villafuerte-Carachure also charged with transporting seven pounds of meth
Bond was set at $250,000 in Bartow Superior Court Tuesday morning for a Rock Island, Tennessee, man accused of transporting more than six pounds of heroin through the community earlier this year.
Cherokee Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Erle Newton said law enforcement officials also recovered seven pounds of a substance believed to be methamphetamine during a traffic stop of defendant Gabino Villafuerte-Carachure, 29, off Interstate 75 on June 28.
“It was one of the largest busts that I know of in Bartow history,” Newton said. “For that reason and because I believe he is a flight risk based on these charges alone and no connection to the state of Georgia, I am asking the court set a bond at no less than $250,000.”
Villafuerte-Carachure’s defense attorney noted that her client’s case has yet to be indicted by a grand jury, asking Cherokee Judicial Circuit Judge David K. Smith to set bond at $50,000.
Judge Smith accepted the State’s recommendation, adding that he will not require a cash bond for the defendant.
“I firmly believe that people who are charged with serious crimes, any crime, are entitled to have their case presented to the grand jury quickly,” he said. “We’re not to the point of a speedy trial demand, but I promise you, it is not the intent of this court to let your client languish.”
At this juncture, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has yet to determine that the substances retrieved from the defendant’s vehicle are indeed heroin and methamphetamine.
“Mr. Newton is going to be on the phone to the State crime lab the minute he walks out of here, trying to find out when the test results will be back,” Smith said. “I have reduced bonds to essentially the value of a six-pack of Coca-Cola in trafficking cases where the crime lab has languished for seven, eight, nine, ten months.”