The trial for a Columbus man charged with trafficking heroin has been moved to August while his two co-defendants remain at large.
Jess Gomez, 29, was indicted on Feb. 10 and charged with seven counts of trafficking in drugs, three first-degree felonies, two second-degree felonies, and two fourth-degree felonies and three counts of possession of drugs, two first-degree felonies and one fourth-degree felony.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges at a hearing on March 8 and was scheduled to stand trial on May 16.
However, on May 10, Gomez’ attorney, Scott Wolf, filed a motion asking that the trial be delayed to further prepare for trial. Court documents indicate that Wolf also asked that he be allowed to withdraw from the case after Gomez said Wolf was “misleading” him and asked that a new attorney be appointed.
On May 19, the Public Defender’s Office appointed local attorney Christopher Soon to represent Gomez going forward. The trial was then rescheduled to Aug. 15.
Gomez was indicted, along with Columbus residents Gilberto U. Perez-Tapia, 33, and Alejandro E. Chavez-Guzman, 29, who were also charged with seven counts of trafficking in drugs. Perez-Tapia was also charged with one count of possession of drugs, a first-degree felony.
However, Perez-Tapia and Chavez-Guzman have not been arraigned because they have not been located by authorities, court documents indicate. Warrants are out for their arrests.
Prosecutors said the Delaware County Drug Task Force, worked with agents from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) to bring charges in the case.
“During the investigation, officials seized more than 500 grams of heroin and more than $14,000 cash,” said Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O’Brien in February. “Several search warrants also yielded items such as plastic baggies, a digital scale, rubber gloves, and more than a dozen cellular phones.”
Specifications on the indictment allege that all three are major drug offenders.
“Because the amount of drugs seized was more than 250 grams, the major drug offender specification can be applied,” said O’Brien. “If found guilty, a specification would add time to a sentence.”
Gomez was out on bond Thursday.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.