Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Drug suspect pleads not guilty

Express Staff Writer

Jorge Flores-Quintana

The brother of a Hailey man who was murdered last month near Gooding pleaded not guilty Monday to felony drug charges in Blaine County 5th District Court.

Thirty-two-year-old Jorge Flores Quintana was one of 13 suspects indicted last April by a Blaine County grand jury following a major drug bust by the county's Narcotics Enforcement Team. Flores-Quintana is charged with single counts of delivery of methamphetamine and failure to affix drug tax stamps.

The suspect, who is serving time in the Idaho state penitentiary on drug and escape charges, was brought to Blaine County about last month for arraignment on the charges. Following his plea hearing, Flores-Quintana was to be returned to the state prison, said Blaine County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matt Fredback.

A jury trial on the Blaine County charges was set for May 27, 2008. Flores-Quintana is represented by public defender Christopher Simms, who informed the court on Monday that he has filed a "motion to dismiss" on behalf of his client.

Simms told the Idaho Mountain Express after the court hearing that the motion is based on the nearly eight-month delay in having Flores-Quintana arraigned on the charges following the grand jury indictment.

Flores-Quintana is the brother of 30-year-old Gustavo Flores-Quintana, who was shot in the head execution style on Nov. 8 near the Big Wood River about a mile north of Gooding.

Gooding County authorities have termed the murder a "drug deal gone bad" but do not believe the slaying is related to drug charges against Jorge Flores-Quintana. Authorities are seeking two men they believe committed the murder but fear they have fled to Mexico.

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