Alleged drug dealer heads back to Vegas
A judge has allowed one of the two Las Vegas men arrested last month on drug and weapons charges to return to Las Vegas.
Israel Fearon, 32, posted a $12,000 bond last week. Fearon and 31-year-old Omar Latif – also known as Itzahk Alakai Levy, Alakai Omar Latif, Robert Andino and Sean Rahamut Ali – were arrested on June 18 after troopers with the Colorado State Patrol found drugs and a shotgun in which Latif was driving. The troopers had stopped the car for speeding on Interstate 70, near Avon.
Latif hasn’t posted bond, set at $100,000, and is still being detained at the Eagle County Detention Center. A July 11 hearing has been continued to July 28. Latif has no attorney yet and is dealing directly with the District Attorney’s Office. Eagle County Public Defender Ken Barker is representing Fearon. Barker can represent only one of the two men implicated in the same case. Fearon’s next hearing in Eagle County Court is Sept. 9.
“I just got mixed up with the wrong person,” Fearon said after a Tuesday hearing at the Eagle County Courthouse.
Fearon, who has said he is a chef at a restaurant in Las Vegas, has indicated he is planning to relocate as a result of what happened.
“I met him (Latif) a month ago. I was doing him a favor,” he said.
Latif is charged with 14 counts of felonies and five counts of misdemeanors. The felony charges include:
– Possession with intent to distribute controlled substance.
– Possession of drug paraphernalia.
– Criminal impersonation.
Fearon faces lesser charges, including:
– Possession of a controlled substance.
– Possession of drug paraphernalia.
– An offense related to marijuana.
Both men are charged as “special offenders,” a class- 2 felony that can carry a maximum of 48 years in prison.
“Those were the charges we feel we can prove against Fearon,” Hurlbert said. “(Fearon) is less culpable. Troopers found less evidence against him.”
Hurlbert said the two men are charged as special offenders because of an apparent possession with intent to distribute drugs, as well as the presence of a weapon in the car. State troopers found a 12-gauge shotgun and a .38 caliber handgun in Latif’s car.
District Attorney Mark Hurlbert has called the case “pretty serious.”
“It’s very rare for here to see something as serious as this,” Hurlbert said, adding that although there isn’t any indication the drugs were going to be distributed in the area, the way they were packaged makes it appear to be possession with intent to distribution.
According to the affidavit, troopers stopped Latif for driving at 81 mph in a 65 mph zone on I-70, near Avon. When he was questioned by investigators, Fearon said he and Latif left Las Vegas on June 18 and were heading to Fort Collins.
When he was stopped, Latif handed the trooper a Nevada drivers license that identified him as Robert Andino. He had no insurance and no registration for the car, the affidavit says. The trooper was giving Latif a warning for speeding when he noticed a rifle case in the back seat. The trooper asked if there was anything illegal in the car, the affidavit says. Latif said “no,” but then said there was a shotgun in the car.
A search warrant for Latif’s car revealed a hidden compartment, in which the following was found:
– Several small clear plastic bag with a white powdery substance, which tested positive for cocaine.
– A clear plastic bag containing a white crystal substance, which tested positive for methamphitamine.
– A clear plastic bag containing several white pills, which were found to be morphine.
– One clear plastic bag with several white capsules, which were found to be Vicodin.
Troopers also found $3,300 cash in the hidden compartment.
Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454, or at email@example.com.