Couple pleads to bust

Two Californians pleaded Tuesday in District Court to one count each of conspiracy to commit a felony under the Uniformed Controlled Substance Act.

Donavan Black and Sarah Johnson both of Chico, entered guilty and no contest pleas, respectively, during their arraignment. The two were arrested Feb. 13 with 51.96 pounds of marijuana in their car.

According to court records, Black was driving a Subaru Outback when he was pulled over by a Churchill County Sheriff’s deputy for an unlit license plate. He was given a warning, but the deputy notice a smell of marijuana emitting from the vehicle.

The deputy asked Johnson if there was marijuana in the car, which she admitted was in her purse. She also told the deputy there was more drugs in the car when asked.

Upon the search, deputies discovered the stash in four duffel and several vacuum-sealed bags.

Both bailed out of the Churchill County Jail on Feb. 15 on $20,000 bond each. They face one to five years in prison, although both are eligible for probation. The couple will be sentenced Oct. 28.

In other court news —

Phillip Webber II appeared Thursday in Justice Court after being arrested on a suspicion of drug trafficking.

Webber, 54, was arrested Aug. 12 and is suspected of carrying more than 28 grams of methamphetamine.

Webber’s attorney, Jacob Sommer, who appeared on behalf of Dave Neidert, asked for a reduction in bail so his client could attend to other matters before his next court appearance.

Churchill County Deputy District Attorney Michael Winn was opposed to any bail reduction. He said Webber has a prior arrest related to meth plus an active warrant from Henderson.

Webber’s bail was reduced from $200,000 to $150,000.

He is charged with one count of trafficking in a controlled substance, 28 grams or more and is scheduled for a status hearing Sept. 11.


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