BY MAIRE O’NEILL
A jury was selected Feb. 13 in First Judicial District Court and the trial of Nichole Marsh, 38, of Los Alamos on a charge of trafficking a controlled substance – methamphetamine is scheduled to begin Friday morning at the Los Alamos Justice Center.
Marsh was arrested in March 2017 as part of Operation Spring Cleaning which was conducted by Los Alamos Police Department and netted a total of seven arrests on drug charges. She was originally charged with trafficking of a controlled substance, two counts of possession of paraphernalia and four counts of possession of dangerous drugs.
According to Court documents filed in Los Alamos Magistrate Court, Marsh is accused of selling methamphetamine to an LAPD confidential informant in January 2017. In March 2017, LAPD obtained a search warrant for Marsh’s residence. Court documents filed by Det. Ryan Wolking state that during the search he found methamphetamine, a small marijuana pipe, a hypodermic needle, prescription drugs in unlabeled containers and marijuana-related drops called Canna drops.
In recent months Marsh’s attorney Marcus Kolber, challenged the search warrant saying probable cause did not exist at the time it was executed because the warrant was executed two months after the alleged buy, that there were insufficient facts to determine that there was ongoing criminal activity in Marsh’s residence and that the state failed to establish that the items still existed in the house. The state maintained that the time between the buy and the execution of the search warrant was necessary to protect the identification of the confidential informant.
First Judicial District Judge Jason Lidyard found that the time that elapsed between the controlled buy of the suspected methamphetamine between Marsh and the confidential informant and the application for the search warrant to search her home had “grown stale” so LAPD had no sufficient probable cause to search. This ruling led District Attorney Kent Wahlquist to file an amended criminal complaint on only the trafficking charge.
The trial is expected to last just one day.