Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Man accused of drug dealing

 

July 1, 2020



A Tucumcari man who faces two different criminal complaints of animal abuse was accused of drug dealing in five new felony counts in an amended complaint filed last week.

Ralph Earlwayne Fletcher, 30, is charged with two counts of trafficking controlled substances (second offense), distribution of marijuana (second offense) and two counts of felony possession of a controlled substance.

All of the new drug counts were felonies. The trafficking counts were the most serious — a second-degree felony that could lead up to nine years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The amended complaint was filed in Tucumcari magistrate court June 22 after Fletcher was accused in late April of abusing a brindle pitbull dog at his residence. Fletcher also was accused of resisting arrest. He initially was charged in the case with a felony count of extreme animal cruelty and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer.

After Fletcher’s arrest in April, Tucumcari police officers obtained a search warrant for his residence, according to online court records. The complaint by police Cpl. Herman Martinez stated officers found marijuana, methamphetamine and cocaine in containers, prerolled joints, scales, items infused with THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) and plastic baggies throughout the residence that “indicated it was packaged for distribution.”

The amended complaint stated officers also found a ledger and two notebooks with what appeared to be a list of names that were crossed out showing what money was owed and what was purchased.

Fletcher was released on bond in early June on the April charges.

Early last year, Fletcher was charged with a felony count of extreme animal cruelty after being accused by another Tucumcari police officer of choking and injuring a pitbull puppy.

A jury of nine women and three men deadlocked 9-3 during Fletcher’s trial in December, leading to a hung jury.

Fletcher is scheduled to face another jury trial in August on a misdemeanor count of animal cruelty in that case, according to online court records.

The first puppy, which police confiscated from Fletcher as his case wound through the court system, recovered from its injuries and was adopted by someone in Santa Fe, according to Kathi McClelland, president of Paws and Claws Animal Rescue of Quay County.

Michael Aragon of Las Vegas, who is listed as Fletcher’s attorneyy in the most recent case, couldn’t be reached for comment. Brett Phelps, Fletcher's attorney in the 2019 case, did not answer an email requesting comment.

 
 

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