By Neal Putnam
Three people who were arrested by the Drug Enforcement Administration on charges of selling heroin in Ramona have posted bond and await a preliminary hearing in August.
Monica Leslie Tejero, 45, Chris Melero, 34, and Zazil Saul, 22, all of Ramona, have pleaded not guilty to the charges in San Diego Superior Court.
Tejero and Melero appeared before Judge Eugenia Eyherabide June 14 and they were ordered back to court for a preliminary hearing on Aug. 26. Saul was arraigned June 14 by Judge David Szumowski and received an Aug. 23 date for a preliminary hearing.
Tejero is charged with five counts of selling or furnishing heroin to an informant on five different days in February and March. She is also charged with possession of heroin for sale on June 2, and with the allegation that the transactions occurred within 1,000 feet of Ramona Elementary School.
At the time, Tejero worked at the Ramona Thrift Store at 773 Main St., and court documents said the drug was sold or furnished to the informant inside the store and outside in the parking lot. One alleged sale took place in the laundry room of her apartment complex in Ramona.
Melero is charged with participating in only one sale while Saul is accused of participating in two sales.
According to the arrest warrant declaration, the informant worked with the DEA and was searched before any of the sales took place to make sure the informant did not have the drug before meeting with Tejero. The informant allegedly purchased heroin from Tejero and then met with DEA agents who tested the black rock-like substance the informant gave them.
The drug was in a bag and all five substances were determined to be heroin, according to court records. The first purchase involved 2.3 grams of heroin and the last one on March 14 was 17.7 grams of the drug.
Tejero has a prior burglary conviction from 1988. Melero has convictions for illegal drug possession and receiving stolen property in 2001 and 2008, records say.
The defendants deny the charges. Tejero is free on $100,000 bond, while Saul and Melero remain free on $50,000 and $10,000 bond respectively.