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Man placed on rider after being busted with meth dissolved in liquid

Crime Watch

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Daniel Santos | Bonneville County Jail

IDAHO FALLS — A Shelley man will spend up to the next year on a rider program after police busted him with about 900 grams of liquid meth.

Daniel Santos, 35, was placed on retained jurisdiction or a rider by District Judge Bruce Pickett on May 12. Santos pleaded guilty as part of an Alford plea agreement to felony possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver. The agreement stipulated that the charge be amended from a drug trafficking charge to the intent to deliver.

An Alford plea is a guilty plea where a defendant continues to assert their innocence but admits a jury would likely find them guilty with the evidence presented.

A rider is when a judge sends a person to prison for up to a year to undergo different treatment programs, including mental health and drug abuse treatment. When the individual has completed the program the judge can then decide to send them back to prison to complete their sentence or release them on probation.

RELATED | What is a rider?

Pickett gave Santos an overhanging two to five-year prison sentence if he does not successfully complete the rider program.

RELATED | Man had around 900 grams of liquid meth, police say

During a traffic stop in June 2019, the Idaho Falls Police officers found a glass pipe with about 15 grams of methamphetamine, according to court documents. Officers also discovered a cup containing a milky looking substance. A test of the liquid revealed a positive for meth. Officers found the liquid weighed 900.8 grams, or about 1.9 pounds.

Bonneville County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney John Dewey told EastIdahoNews.com that further investigation showed that Santos put a shard of meth inside the liquid, which it dissolved, thus giving the high weight. His office determined based on the facts, it was better to amend the trafficking charge to intent to deliver.

Dewey said the plea agreement allowed the prosecution to argue any sentence, but the pre-sentencing investigation recommended the rider program, which the prosecution felt was appropriate.

According to court records, Pickett ordered Santos to pay $1,285.50 in fees and fines.

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