Sat, March 28

Charges dropped against woman accused of planning to smuggle meth to Camp Verde murder suspect

Cher Loken

Cher Loken

CAMP VERDE – With 30-year-old Levi Jones in the Camp Verde Detention Center charged with the 2016 murder of “Kyle” John Warren Silva, Mesa resident Cher Loken was arrested in August 2017 for attempting to smuggle methamphetamine to Jones via U.S. mail.

On May 28, Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Michael R. Bluff ordered the charges against the 47-year-old Loken be dismissed without prejudice, meaning the state could again bring those charges against Loken.

Judge Bluff’s ruling came five days after the State of Arizona, “by and through” Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk asked for charges be dismissed,” court records state.

According to the May 23 motion to dismiss, “the state contacted defense counsel Nick Faussette and he does not object to this motion.”

The court’s May 28 order states that “pursuant to the State motion to dismiss, and good cause appearing, the court finds that the purpose of this dismissal is not to avoid the provisions of Rule 8 of the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure.”

Rule 8 of the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure pertains to a speedy trial.

According to an Aug. 22, 2017, story in the Verde Independent, Loken had been served with a search warrant at her home that led detectives to discover evidence confirming she was preparing to smuggle the drug.

According to court documents, Loken and Jones had a telephone conversation with the intent to smuggle methamphetamine into the Yavapai County Jail, a class 2 felony, according to court documents.

Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office Media Relations Coordinator Dwight D’Evelyn issued a news release in July 2017 stating the same investigation led to additional murder-for -hire charges being filed against Jones.

That news release stated that in late May 2017, “Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office detectives opened a case based on information obtained during an investigation at the Camp Verde jail. The results of the investigation concluded that Jones was arranging to have his co-defendant in their current case killed.”

D’Evelyn said the investigation into the murder-for-hire plot resulted in additional charges against Jones including conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, conspiracy to promote prison contraband and seven counts of tampering with a witness.

Jones remains in jail, arrested in October 2016 after a shooting at a Camp Verde Circle K that resulted in the death of Silva, 31.

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