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"Who in their right mind would think cops are coming for an ounce of marijuana?" said Preste, who described her son as a sweet, sensitive man who loves animals and kids.
‘I don’t feel safe here’ » Since the November incident, Opmanis has been housed at the Utah County jail, as his family is unable to make the $65,000 cash-only bail. Along with the attempted murder charge, he is also charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute in a drug-free zone, a second-degree felony, illegally possessing a weapon, a third-degree felony, and possessing drug paraphernalia, a class A misdemeanor.
Preste said she felt if police would have investigated more thoroughly, they would have known that her son was not a drug dealer, and that a no-knock warrant was unnecessary. She said the informant had never entered Opmanis’ apartment, and she believes he lied to police to get a better deal in his criminal case.
"They didn’t need to come in here like Rambo," Preste said. "...How dare they charge him with attempted murder, when he used fake bullets, and you [police] used real bullets."
Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon also could not speak specifically about the case, but said their deputies generally try to get information to verify the informant’s statements. The search warrant filed in Opmanis’ case makes no other mention of probable cause beyond what the informant told police.
"They usually try to get as much additional information as they can," Cannon said. "Some [informants] are better than others. That may be from where [the investigator] gets the information initially."
Preste said she hopes if the judge rules Tuesday that Opmanis’ competency can’t be restored, the charges against him will be dropped. If that happens, she plans to move to California — where medical marijuana is legal — with her son.
"I’m bolting out of here," she said. "What they did was too much damage. I don’t feel safe here."
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