The U.S. attorney's office in Salt Lake City has agreed to drop a conspiracy-to-commit-murder charge against a Daggett County man in exchange for a guilty plea to a drug case in Weber County.
Modesto Mendicoa, 50, Manila, entered a guilty plea Friday to possession of cocaine in a plea bargain agreement before 2nd District Judge Ronald O. Hyde. A July 8 sentencing date was set.
Mendicoa had been charged in Weber County with attempting to buy $15,000 worth of cocaine from an undercover narcotics officer. In U.S. District Court, he had been charged with the use of interstate commerce in the commission of murder for hire.
He was accused of hiring another person from out of state to travel to Utah to kill Daggett County Sheriff Gaylen Garvie last fall.
He was scheduled to stand trial June 15 in that case, but defense attorney Ronald Yengich said U.S. prosecutors agreed to drop the charge if Mendicoa pleaded guilty to the cocaine charge.
Mendicoa faces a sentence of up to five years in prison for possession of cocaine. He is also facing prison in Wyoming for cattle rustling in Sweetwater County.
The defendant was convicted on April 16 in Green River on four counts of unlawful transportation of livestock and four counts of livestock rustling.