Sunday, June 4, 2023

A Mendocino County Jury Finds Local Man Guilty of Felony Transporation of Fentanyl


The following is a press release from the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office:

Experts consider 2 milligrams of fentanyl to be lethal, but many counterfeit pills contain up to 5 mg (more than twice the lethal dose). The fentanyl that defendant Roberts possessed for sale shown in the picture had a net weight of 15 grams (or 15,000 milligrams). [Photograph and caption from the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office]

A Mendocino County jury returned from its deliberations in less than an hour Wednesday morning to find the trial defendant guilty as charged.

Defendant William Cecil Roberts, Jr., age 57, of Willits and Missouri, was found guilty of transporting fentanyl for the purpose of sales, a felony.

After the jury was excused, the defendant’s matter was referred to the Mendocino County Adult Probation department for a background study and sentencing recommendation.

It is anticipated that the background study will be somewhat more extensive than normal due to the defendant’s record out of the State of Missouri, where he has amassed a record of at least eight prior felony convictions.

William Cecil Roberts [Mugshot from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Booking Logs]

Interestingly, defendant Roberts was sentenced in Missouri in 2018 to ten years in the penitentiary on a drug charge but released after serving two years and placed under parole supervision.

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The law enforcement agencies that developed the evidence used by the prosecution at trial to convict the defendant were the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Justice crime laboratory.

The prosecutor who presented the People’s evidence to the jury was Deputy District Attorney Jamie Pearl.

Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Victoria Shanahan presided over the three-day trial.

Judge Shanahan will also preside over the sentencing hearing now calendared for May 12, 2023 at 9 o’clock in the morning in Department B of the Ukiah courthouse.

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  1. As a member of the Jury, I expected that when we entered the room to deliberate that it would take some time to get all on the same page. In reality everything that others brought up made me more sure in my conviction that he was guilty. No one in the room had any reservations about the conviction and it was an easy decision. None of us knew there was a serious prior history as discussed here and I suspect that was in order to not prejudice all of us the Jury. Justice was served.

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MendoFever Staff
MendoFever Staff
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