Heroin dealer’s sentencing postponed; defendant taken into custody on no-bond hold

Contributed Photo/Courtesy GCSO: Yancy Winans

By Jon Johnson

jonjohnsonnews@gmail.com

SAFFORD – A man convicted of selling heroin to an undercover officer may now have his plea deal withdrawn after violating pre-trial release conditions. 

Yancy Jay Winans, 27, agreed to a plea deal Aug. 15 and pleaded guilty to an amended count of attempted sale of a narcotic drug – a Class-3 felony, and two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia – Class-6 felonies. He was originally charged with possession of a dangerous drug, possession of marijuana, transportation of a narcotic drug for sale, possession of a narcotic drug, and three counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.  

At his scheduled sentencing date Oct. 2, however, Winans was learned to have violated his release conditions and a warrant was issued for his arrest in September. When he arrived for his sentencing Oct. 2, he was taken into custody and is being held on a no-bond hold at least until his next scheduled court appearance Oct. 21. 

That appearance is scheduled to be a sentencing, but Graham County Superior Court Judge Michael D. Peterson may reject the sentencing, which would invalidate the plea agreement. If that occurs, Winans defense attorney, Dennis McCarthy, will likely request a new judge take over the case. 

In that scenario, a new plea from the state, represented by Graham County Deputy County Attorney Scott Adams, would be required. Adams would not have to offer the same deal. 

In the original plea, probation was guaranteed with the possibility of up to a year in jail. The period of probation was left up to the discretion of the court and can be up to five years. Additionally, Winans was given a $7,320 fine and ordered to complete 1,080 hours of court-approved community work service. 

The charges against Winans stem from a Nov. 7, 2018 incident in which he sold nearly a gram of heroin to an undercover detective for $100 and a subsequent drug task force search of his residence Feb. 28, that turned up various drugs and paraphernalia. 

One week after posting a $7,000 bond to get out of the Graham County Adult Detention Facility, Winans was arrested in Pinal County for transportation of a narcotic drug for sale, possession of a narcotic drug for sale, and possession of a narcotic drug. However, he has not been charged in the Pinal County case. 

Winans will next appear in front of Judge Peterson on Oct. 21 for a scheduled sentencing hearing. 

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