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CHARLESTON -- Two Arkansas residents face at least nine years in prison if convicted of charges accusing them of trying to deliver methamphetamine to someone in Mattoon.

Craig D. Bailey and Cassandra L. Martinez were arrested on Aug. 11 following a traffic stop in Mattoon and were found with about four ounces of methamphetamine in their vehicle, according to records in their cases.

Bailey, 46, for whom court records list an address in Hot Springs, Ark., and Martinez, 43, for whom records list a Lonsdale, Ark., address, are charged with methamphetamine delivery offenses.

Both appeared in court on Monday and pleaded not guilty to the charges. After a judge denied bond reduction motions, each remains jailed with bond set at a level that would require $10,000 to be posted for release.

Case records indicate that Mattoon police stopped the vehicle Bailey was driving at the Jumpin' Jimmy's gas station at 1121 Broadway Avenue East because of a vehicle registration violation.

Martinez was a passenger in the vehicle and the methamphetamine was found following a search by a police K-9 unit, the records say.

They also indicate that, when questioned, Bailey and Martinez both said they were taking the methamphetamine to a friend of Bailey's who lives in Mattoon.

Bailey said the friend, whom the records don't identify, contacted him about delivering the methamphetamine because there wasn't much of the drug available in the Mattoon area, the records say.

Also, both suspects told police that Bailey asked for Martinez's help in obtaining the drug and she was able to get it from someone in Arkansas, according to the records.

On Monday, Coles County Circuit Judge Brien O'Brien scheduled a status hearing in Bailey's case for Friday and set Martinez's next hearing for Sept. 11.

State's Attorney Brian Bower represented the prosecution during Monday's hearing. Public Defender Anthony Ortega represents Bailey and Assistant Public Defender Jesse Danley is Martinez's attorney.

The charge against each suspect would require a prison sentence of nine to 40 years, based on the allegation that there was at least 3 1/2 ounces of methamphetamine planned for sale.

The charges also list a required fine with a conviction: $200,000 or an amount equal to the street value of the drugs, whichever is greater.



Dave Fopay is a reporter for the JG-TC who covers Coles County, the local court system, Charleston schools and more.

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