Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Sat, Oct. 19

Suspect in meth bust OKs deal

KINGMAN - Another suspect in Operation Picture Perfect, the April bust of a large Kingman methamphetamine ring, has accepted a plea agreement.

Bryan I. Baldwin, 43, of Kingman agreed to plead guilty to felony conspiracy to sell dangerous drugs. All other felony charges in the case were dismissed and the county attorney has agreed not to press any further charges in the case.

According to Deputy County Attorney Greg McPhillips, Baldwin was one of a number of street level methamphetamine dealers in the drug ring. When Baldwin was arrested, he was found in possession of about seven grams of methamphetamine.

Baldwin is one of 18 defendants in the case; three defendants already have accepted plea agreements in the case. Two of three defendants who have accepted pleas have been sentenced. Consuelo Magana, 36, of Kingman was sentenced to seven years for conspiracy to sell dangerous drugs, methamphetamine.

Jose Luis Hernandez Rascon, 24, of Kingman was sentenced to three years of supervised probation and 360 hours of community service for conspiracy to sell dangerous drugs.

Vernice Salazar-Escalante, 24, of Kingman also pleaded guilty to felony attempted possession of dangerous drugs for sale, methamphetamine, on Oct. 27. She has yet to be sentenced.

In April, the Mohave Area General Narcotics Enforcement Team, along with the State Gang Task Force, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency, the Arizona Department of Public Safety Financial Investigation Resource Group, the Phoenix Police Department and the state Attorney General's Office and the Mohave County Attorney's Office broke up a methamphetamine drug ring that was bringing in an estimated $18 million a year and approximately 520 pounds of methamphetamine to the area.

The operation took more than a year to complete. In the raid, MAGNET seized a pound of methamphetamine, $42,660 in cash, 43 weapons, 20 cars/trucks, two personal watercraft, four all-terrain vehicles, one dune buggy, 15 big-screen/flat-screen TVs, 28 computers and seven surveillance camera systems.

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