Man Admits to Cocaine Possession
A man originally charged with possession of cocaine and possession with intent to deliver pleaded guilty to the simple possession charge Wednesday in Albany County District Court as part of a plea bargain wherein prosecutors will drop the second charge.
Since the plea deal included no recommendation as to sentencing, 20-year-old Robin Zuniga-Acosta could find himself serving the maximum sentence of up to seven years in prison and $15,000 in fines.
Zuniga-Acosta was arrested after a Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper stopped a grey Honda Civic for speeding on U.S. 287 on May 10.
Court documents say Zuniga-Acosta presented the trooper with a Mexican identification card bearing the name Carlos Miguel Carrasco. Zuniga-Acosta later told the trooper the identification card was not his.
Troopers searched the vehicle after a K-9 reportedly alerted to car. Troopers recovered a small bag of marijuana from the gas cap door, a fist-sized bag of cocaine weighing 109 grams, $2,250 in cash and seven cell phones.
In court Wednesday, Defense attorney Candace Pisciotti initially asked Judge Jeffrey Donnell to allow Zuniga-Acosta to enter a no contest plea or Alford plea, instead of pleading guilty. Donnell saw no reason why a guilty plea would not be appropriate.
"If he was conscious and knew what he was doing, I see no reason for a no contest plea," Donnell said.
That guilty plea may result in Zuniga-Acosta's detention, deportation, exclusion from the United States or denial of immigration benefits such as naturalization, as he is a foreign national.
Zuniga-Acosta had been held on $15,000 cash bond, but given the guilty plea and an immigration hold put in place at the beginning of the case, Donnell saw fit to revoke Zuniga-Acosta's bond and ordered him remanded to custody pending sentencing.