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San Juan man faces four felonies following narcotics bust
A San Juan Island man accused of selling cocaine and methamphetamine to an informant working with the Sheriff' Department is slated to stand trial on four felony drug-related charges in mid-March.
On Jan. 23, Jason Charles Bell, 32, pleaded not guilty in San Juan County Superior Court to four counts of delivery of a controlled substance, a Class B felony. Bail was set at $10,000 pending trial, which is slated to begin March 19.
According to court documents, Bell allegedly twice sold cocaine and twice sold methamphetamine to an informant working with the Sheriff's detectives in September. Court records did not list the quantity or the price of the alleged transactions.
He is the second San Juan Island man arrested on drug trafficking charges since the start of the new year. Christopher Faylor, 18, faces four drug-related felonies as well.
"The arrest is the result of a several month investigation by Sheriff's detectives into trafficking of illicit drugs in our island communities," Sheriff Rob Nou said in a prepared statement released on the heels of Bell's arrest. "The Sheriff’s Office will continue to work tirelessly to hold those responsible for supplying these destructive substances to our community accountable."
No stranger to local authorities, Bell was apprehended without incident Friday, Jan. 20, after a warrant in which his alleged drug trafficking activity is detailed had been issued for arrest. According to court documents, he was arrested in 2008 on drug-related charges in Snohomish County, convicted of meth possession in San Juan County in 2008 as well, and arrested a year ago in Skagit County for possession of meth.
In addition, authorities note that Bell has failed four times in the past -- with criminal charges pending -- to appear in a San Juan County courtroom. Those absences resulted in five arrest warrants and four subsequent arrests.
A Class B felony, delivery of an controlled substance, such as cocaine or methamphetamine, carries maximum penalties of 10 years in prison, a $20,000 fine, or both. Because of his criminal history, Bell, if convicted, would face a minimum of 20 months in prison, and a maximum of 60 months, under sentencing guidelines set by the state.
— Scott Rasmussen