Judge Kaleb Cockrum issued a $200,000 arrest warrant this morning for Arcata businessman and suspected drug dealer Ariel Arguelles-Sosa, who didn’t show up for a hearing on whether he used drug money to post bail.
Defense attorney Russ Clanton told the judge Arguelles-Sosa was absent “against my advice and against the advice of his family.”
Clanton said his client was motivated by “the very primitive fear of incarceration.”
Deputy District Attorney Trent Timm had asked for a $500,000 warrant, saying that would have been the original bail amount if Drug Task Force agents had seized 3 pounds of cocaine from Arguelles-Sosa’s home rather than the 2.9 pounds they found.
Several ounces each of methamphetamine and heroin were also confiscated during the Aug. 30 raid, along with $65,000 in cash.
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Timm began to describe Arguelles-Sosa as disrespectful for disobeying a court order to appear in court, but Clanton interrupted him by shouting.
“You can ask for your warrant but you’re not going to denigrate my client!” Clanton yelled. “You’re not!”
Timm then went on to urge the judge to issue the $500,000 warrant, given that Arguelles-Sosa violated a direct court order and is apparently on the run.
“Due to the change in circumstances it should be $500,000,” Timm said.
Clanton acknowledged failing to appear was “not a smart idea,” but “I do expect him to return.”
Just yesterday, Clanton argued Arguelles-Sosa was not a flight risk because he is a businessman and property owner locally and had made all his court appearances.
Arguelles-Sosa, 40, was probably correct to assume that if the hearing had gone forward this morning with Drug Task Force agents testifying, Cockrum would have found probable cause he used drug money to post bail. At a bail hearing yesterday, Cockrum indicated he already believed there was probable cause because Arguelles-Sosa had made a statement about using drug profits to keep his legal business afloat.
With the finding of probable cause, Arguelles-Sosa would have been jailed without bail.
Arguelles-Sosa, who owns Ricos Tacos in Arcata, posted $50,000 bail after his arrest. Yesterday Cockrum increased the bail amount to $100,000 because of the amount of cocaine seized, and the bail bond company indicated that could be done.
This morning Cockrum said he was surprised by Arguelles-Sosa’s failure to appear, and he issued the $200,000 warrant for his arrest. If arrested he is not to be cited and released.
“It’s unfortunate and I did not expect it,” the judge said.
Some of Arguelles-Sosa’s friends or family members attended the hearing this morning.
His 20-year-old cousin and co-defendant Abdiel Parras-Sosa is out of custody on his own recognizance.