The defense attorney for Wendover's former police chief, June Carter, said his client is tired of battling the drug charges against him and plans to accept a plea bargain that has been struck with prosecutors.
Carter will plead guilty to a reduced charge of possession of cocaine, a third-degree felony, said his attorney, Steven Payton. He was originally charged with possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute after agents discovered cocaine, metal scales and plastic bags in the trunk of his police car."We just simply don't have the resources to go on," said Payton, who indicated that Carter's family has suffered tremendous financial burdens fighting the charges - about $25,000. And that much more would be necessary to continue, he said.
"Whether he did something or not . . . he's forced to defend himself. It will simply break you."
But prosecutors said Carter will be required to confess his involvement with the drugs as part of the plea agreement.
"It involves what we anticipate will be an admission as far as the cocaine," prosecutor Wendy Hufnagle said Tuesday.
As part of the plea bargain that was drafted with the attorney general's office, Carter will also plead guilty to obtaining a prescription drug by using a false name and address, a class A misdemeanor, Payton said.
Carter was apparently suffering from stress related to the court battles and went to Bountiful's Lakeview Hospital last month to receive an injection of Vistaril and Nubain. When he received the treatments, he gave hospital officials a false name of James Carter because he didn't want to be recognized, Payton said.
"It was basically because of the notoriety of having pending cases and (being the former) Wendover police chief," he said.
"State law says you have to give your correct name when you're treated," explained Payton. "It was one more thing the prosecution could jump on."
Carter, who has been a police officer for 14 years, will also voluntarily relinquish his status as a peace officer.
"Essentially, you're walking away from the only thing you've ever done in your life," said Payton. "He's pretty down."
Carter's wife, Janese, is currently at the Utah State Prison serving a 1-to-15-year sentence for distributing drugs. She was arrested Feb. 27 in the Crossroads Plaza parking lot after selling undercover agents cocaine and methamphetamines out of a marked police vehicle.
Janese Carter, who was also a Wendover police officer and served as the department's evidence custodian, was driving her husband's police vehicle when she was arrested. The trunk was later searched and June Carter was subsequently arrested. Prosecutors say he knew there was cocaine in his trunk, but the defense still claims he did not know.
In exchange for June Carter's guilty pleas, prosecutors will drop witness-tampering and wire-tapping charges against him. The hearing will be held before 3rd District Judge Richard Moffat and is set for Thursday.