A trial date was vacated for a woman connected to an embellished human-trafficking incident at a West Point marijuana grow last year after a new discovery put the validity of a series of search warrants used to gain access to the site in question.
Brian Chavez-Ochoa, the attorney that represents Guadalupe Arrellano, said shortly after a trial-confirmation conference Tuesday that the discovery would invalidate evidence seized in connection to the case. He declined to go into further detail.
“What we’re looking at could potentially have a dispositive effect on the case,” he said.
Arrellano was originally charged with numerous felony human-trafficking, kidnapping and threats to commit a crime of violence accusations related to an incident where she, and codefendant Medarda Estudillo, allegedly abducted four men, forced them to work at an obscure marijuana grow and held them against their will in West Point last year.
All but three misdemeanor allegations – a simple battery and two marijuana charges – were dismissed due to defective accusations in February. Chavez-Ochoa said the four men sensationalized the story.
Arrellano has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Estudillo, whose allegations were also significantly downgraded, pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor marijuana charges in February. Estudillo was sentenced to 124 days in county jail with 124 days credit for time served. She was also given three years’ probation.
Prior to Tuesday’s events, a three-day jury trial for Arrellano was scheduled to begin April 12. She won’t be in court again until May 9 or for a pretrial conference.