Two co-defendants in ‘Devil’s Professor’ drug trafficking case entered not guilty pleas

Two co-defendants in the “Devil’s Professor” methamphetamine trafficking case entered not-guilty pleas Tuesday to conspiracy charges.

Chelsea Marie Johnson, 34, and Eric Cortez, 31, both of Redlands, entered the pleas and denied all allegations at a formal arraignment before Judge Harold T. Wilson in San Bernardino Superior Court.

Both defendants face charges in connection with a methamphetamine trafficking ring allegedly run by Cal State San Bernardino professor Steve Kinzey.

Johnson and Cortez were ordered held on the charges after a preliminary hearing on Sept. 27. Judge Douglas Gericke ruled then that sufficient evidence was presented to hold over the defendants for trial.

Also on Tuesday, lawyer Sean O’Connor, who represents Johnson, sought a hearing to argue for a reduction in his client’s bail. She is currently being held on $150,000 bail, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
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Two ordered held, third pleads guilty in Kinzey meth case

SAN BERNARDINO – A Redlands man and woman were ordered held on conspiracy charges at a hearing earlier this week in connection with a methemphetamine trafficking ring that was allegedly run by Cal State professor Steve Kinzey.

Co-defendants in the case, Chelsea Marie Johnson and Eric Cortez, appeared for a preliminary hearing on Tuesday before Judge Douglas N. Gericke in San Bernardino Superior Court, according to court records.

After listening to testimony from three witnesses, Gericke ruled that sufficient evidence existed to hold over the pair for trial, court records state.
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Hearing set in “Devil’s Professor” meth ring

SAN BERNARDINO – Details about a methamphetamine trafficking ring allegedly run by Steve Kinzey, a CSUSB professor and chapter president of Devils Diciples motorcycle club, may come to light Tuesday at a court hearing.

Judge Kenneth Barr ordered co-defendants Chelsea Marie Johnson, Eric Cortez and Wendi Lee Witherell to return Tuesday to San Bernardino Superior Court for a preliminary hearing.

At such a hearing, a judge will listen to witness testimony – usually from law enforcement officers – to determine if sufficient evidence exists to hold over the defendants for trial on the charges.
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