MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - Three men pleaded not guilty today in connection to recent drug raids, they're all staying behind bars, at least for now.
Elijah Pena Jim Jones and Brandon Jerrell pleaded not guilty to manufacturing, delivery and possession with intent to distribute. Pena and Jerrell asked for a bond to be set. U.S. Magistrate Judge Counts decided against it.
"There was not sufficient evidence that he could fashion a set of circumstances that would allow them to be on bond while their cases are pending," said Chief Bill Lewis with the U.S. Attorney's Office, Midland division.
Elijah Pena is believed to be a ringleader in operation Glittery Bow Tie, where 41 arrests were made. New details were released about the evidence leading to the arrests.
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent Brian Hutchison testified and said several surveillance devices were set-up during the investigation.
Surveillance devices included a wire tap on Pena's phone and a camera on his residence. Agent Hutchison said the wire tap revealed Pena was using his phone to traffic drugs.
During Hutchison's testimony he said at the time of the arrest Pena was found in the shower cutting a kilogram of cocaine and trying to force it down the drain.
When Agent Hutchison said Pena admitted to destroying the drugs, Pena looked at his attorney and shook his head.
Pena's fiance also testified, she said Pena did not discuss finances with her and he had two jobs. One was working with a trucking company and the other was flipping houses. Pena's fiance said she didn't know anything regarding the drug trafficking.
"The arrests of 41 individuals coupled with the amount of narcotics that were involved coupled with amount and number of guns that were seized that day during the arrest, last Thursday. Yeah, you have to think the Permian Basin is a safer place today," said Lewis.
Magistrate Judge Counts said there is a lot of strong evidence in this case and the chances of conviction are high.