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Couple charged with selling marijuana in Lodi

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Posted: Saturday, March 17, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 10:47 am, Wed Jan 30, 2013.

A Valley Springs couple who police say sold marijuana in Lodi pleaded not guilty in court on Thursday to weapons and drug charges arising from a raid at their McCauley Drive residence Monday.

Edward Pereira, 38, and Alicia Pereira, 36, were arrested after authorities served a search warrant at their home and seized more than 1,700 marijuana plants, 4.5 pounds of processed marijuana and 10 firearms, including an illegal assault rifle with a large drum-style magazine, the Calaveras County Sheriff's Department said.

The couple is being represented by Stockton attorneys Gus Barrera and Mary Ann Bird, respectively.

Edward Pereira currently faces a bail hold that was issued by San Joaquin County for multiple marijuana sales in Lodi.

If Edward Pereira were to be released on bail, the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Department could have him transferred there to stand trial on the allegations, Barrera said.

The Calaveras County District Attorney's Office accused the Pereiras of cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale, criminal conspiracy and possession of an illegal assault rifle.

Also arrested in Monday's search was Andrew Adams, 18, of Valley Springs.

He has been accused of criminal conspiracy and cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale.

Adams did not enter a plea; his arraignment was delayed because his attorney, John Saldoti, was unable to attend Thursday's hearing.

Bird stepped in on Saldoti's behalf to request the extra time.

Bird also indicated the desire to have all three cases joined. She and Barrera agreed that each of the defendants would like to have another bail hearing Monday, as their new attorneys were not present on Thursday when bail was set at about $800,000 each.

"I think that's high based on the bail schedule," Barrera said, after the hearing. "What they're charged with on the bail schedule is about $100,000."

Two children were taken into protective custody during the search, and the Pereiras were booked into jail with additional charges of child endangerment.

Barrera said the child endangerment charge was not listed on the complaints, and he had heard the children had since been released into the custody of relatives.

Superior Court Judge Douglas Mewhinney set the next hearings in all three cases for Monday.

The Union Democrat contributed to this report.

Contact Katie Nelson at katien@lodinews.com.

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