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Front Page » July 26, 2007 » Local News » Court binds Relyea over to answer nine drug, fraud offenses
Published 2,654 days ago

Court binds Relyea over to answer nine drug, fraud offenses


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By LYNNDA JOHNSON
Sun Advocate editor


The 7th District Court has bound Randall Matthew Relyea over to answer seven separate felony level distributing/arranging the distribution of a controlled substance counts along with two additional class B misdemeanor category filing false or fraudulent insurance claim charges at arraignment on Oct. 15.

On July 19, the 40-year-old defendant appeared at preliminary hearings in six separately filed felony level criminal informations.

Carbon County Attorney Gene Strate acted as the state prosecutor, legal counsel Michael Petro represented Relyea and Judge George Harmond presided on the district court at the proceedings.

Former Carbon Metro Drug Task Force Officer Robin Radley testified for the prosecution at all six preliminary hearings, while the defense called no witnesses to the stand during the criminal proceedings.

The county attorney's office filed formal criminal complaints in district court in May charging the defendant, a doctor operating a medical practice in Price at the time, with 14 separate felony level counts and 13 additional misdemeanor category charges.

•The first criminal case filed contained two counts, one first degree felony distributing/arranging the distribution of a controlled substance charge and one class B misdemeanor category insurance fraud offense.

The complaint contended that, on or about Feb. 8, 2007, the defendant distributed or arranged to distribute a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a public school, park, church or shopping mall - a first degree felony offense.

The prosecution maintained that Relyea committed the class B misdemeanor count by accepting proceeds valued at less than $300 derived from a fraudulent insurance act on the same date.

•The second criminal case accused Relyea of unlawfully possessing or using a controlled substance on July 7, 2006 - a third degree felony level charge.

The complaint identified the controlled substance in question as Percocet, a prescribed pain medication.

•The third criminal information filed contained two first degree felony distributing/arranging the distribution of a controlled substance counts and two class B misdemeanor insurance fraud charges.

The state prosecutor's office contended that Relyea committed the first degree felony offenses by distributing or arranging to distribute a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a public school, park, church or shopping mall on or about Feb. 20 and Feb. 23, 2007.

In connection with the class B misdemeanor counts, the court document maintained that the defendant accepted proceeds valued at $300 derived from fraudulent insurance acts on two occasions during the three-day period in question.

•The fourth formal complaint accused Relyea of committing six first degree felony distributing/arranging the distribution of a controlled substance charges and six class B misdemeanor insurance fraud offenses from July 3 to July 25, 2006.

•The fifth criminal information charged the defendant with committing two first degree felony distributing/arranging the distribution of schedule one or schedule two narcotics counts and two related class B misdemeanor fraudulent insurance act offenses on or about Dec. 8 and Dec. 29, 2006.

•The last formal case filed against Relyea contained two separate first degree felony distributing/arranging the distribution of a controlled substance charges along with two additional class B misdemeanor category insurance fraud offenses.

The court document contended that the defendant committed the four first degree felony and class B misdemeanor counts on April 27, 2005 and Feb. 2, 2006.

Acting on a prosecution motion last Thursday, the district judge amended one of the first degree felony counts filed against the defendant to a lesser included second degree distributing/arranging the distribution of a controlled substance charge.

In addition, the court granted separate motions from the county attorney's office and dismissed six of the remaining first degree felony distribution/arranging the distribution offenses along with 10 of the class B misdemeanor insurance fraud counts filed against Relyea.

At the conclusion of the preliminary hearings, Judge Harmond ruled the evidence presented at the proceedings sufficient to show probable cause the defendant committed six of the original first degree distributing/arranging the distribution of a controlled substance charges, the amended second degree distribution/arranging the distribution of a controlled substance offense and two of the class B misdemeanor false/fraudulent insurance claim counts.

After issuing the probable cause rulings, the court bound Relyea over to answer the seven felony level distribution/arranging the distribution of a controlled substance charges and the two misdemeanor category insurance fraud offenses at arraignment in the criminal informations on Oct. 15

However, the district judge ruled the evidence presented by the prosecution at the preliminary hearings insufficient to show probable cause the defendant committed the third degree unlawful possession/use of a controlled substance count and one of the class B insurance fraud charges contained in the criminal complaints before dismissing the two felony level and misdemeanor category counts filed against Relyea.

On March 14, drug task force representatives arrested and booked Relyea into the Carbon County Jail on the initial drug-related charges stemming from an ongoing investigation into the suspect's alleged criminal activities. The county sheriff's office released the defendant from custody on March 15 after Relyea posted $15,000 in bondable bail.



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