Jury trial discontinued after defendant agreed to plead guilty to meth possession

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THE jury trial of Roman “Roach” Agulto will no longer proceed after he agreed to plead guilty to illegal possession of a controlled substance.

Chief prosecutor John Bradley, in an email to Variety, stated that “the Commonwealth determined that we should not proceed to trial because the lead Department of Public Safety witness (Officer Virolanson Castro Secharmidal) was recently arrested for disturbing the peace (20-005873) and has pending DUI, reckless driving and leaving the scene of accident charges (20-00797 TR).”

He noted that Agulto, 45, was facing up to five years in prison for drug possession and had a serious criminal history.

“Unfortunately, the DPS officer’s (Sechardmidal’s) arrest and pending cases damaged his credibility as a witness, leading to the plea agreement for probation,” Bradley added.

At this point, Bradley said only the DPS commissioner can resolve the officer’s employment issue by dealing with the matter internally. “In the meantime, this officer remains a credibility problem if he serves as a witness in a criminal case,” he added.

Agulto, represented by Assistant Public Defender Jean Pierre Nogues, has asked Superior Court Presiding Judge Roberto C. Naraja to accept the plea agreement.

According to the plea agreement, Agulto, upon entering a plea of guilty to count 1: Illegal possession of a controlled substance, will be sentenced to a term of one year imprisonment, all suspended. Agulto will also be placed on one-year probation.

According to the plea agreement, Agulto, on Nov. 24, 2018, unlawfully knowingly or intentionally possessed a controlled substance, to wit crystal methamphetamine or ice.

Agulto was charged with two counts of illegal possession of a controlled substance after a traffic stop on Nov. 24, 2018.

Two police officers were on routine patrol in Susupe village during the night shift when they came across Agulto’s vehicle. The police vehicle followed Agulto’s.

When Agulto turned left on Pachinko Ave. from Tupak Street, the officers also turned onto Pachinko Ave. where they found Agulto’s vehicle stopped in the middle of the south bound lane.

Police momentarily halted behind Agulto’s vehicle. Agulto then reversed approximately 20 feet on the highway towards the officers’ vehicle, nearly hitting it.

Agulto drove a few feet forward, making a west-facing right turn into a residence on Pachinko Ave.

The police vehicle made a U-turn and followed Agulto.

Police said Agulto rolled down his car window and raised both his hands in a shrugging fashion as he sped away.

When Agulto revved his engine, the police officers activated their police emergency light and went after the defendant.

Later the officers found Agulto’s vehicle parked along Bakke St. and Agulto hiding in the bushes.

After calling Agulto out and placing him in handcuffs, police searched the immediate area and found one headlamp and one case that had small clear Ziploc bags containing crystalline substance, and one glass tube pipe with crystalline substance residue in it. When asked about it, Agulto said it was not his.

In Agulto’s vehicle, police also found other drug paraphernalia, 110 clear Ziploc bags containing crystal- like substance, and one branch of “leafy” substance.

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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