Man Caught with Thousands of Dollars in Illegal Drugs Sentenced

MURRIETA – A parolee who was caught with $50,000 worth of methamphetamine and committed other felonies while out on bail was sentenced today to five years and four months in prison.

John Deno Marks, who turns 23 on Christmas, pleaded guilty last month to possession of illegal drugs, being a felon in possession of a firearm and reckless driving.

In exchange for his plea, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office dropped multiple other felony and misdemeanor counts against the Hemet resident, including evading arrest, manufacturing or distributing drugs for sale and being a felon in possession of police body armor.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Elaine Johnson certified the plea deal today and imposed the mid-range sentence while also crediting Marks with a year’s worth of jail time credits, effectively reducing his prison sentence by 12 months.

Marks’ drug operation was uncovered by Hemet police on June 10 by when officers went to investigate reports of suspicious activity at a single-story house in the 600 block of Zinnia Court, said Lt. Eric Dickson.

When officers detained a man leaving the property, they found 100 grams of meth on him and traced it back to a motel at 1201 W. Florida Ave. and went there to see what they might find, according to Dickson.

Marks and two women were arrested at the motel after officers discovered 300 grams of meth in their room, he said.

”The total amount of methamphetamine seized has an estimated street value of over $50,000,” Dickson said.

The two women were wanted for misdemeanor warrants and later released.

The defendant posted bond and was released from the Southwest Detention Center weeks later. While out on bail in August, he committed additional drug- related offenses, culminating in a police chase, before he was re-arrested and booked on $1 million bail.

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