Appeals court overturns drug conviction

The state Court of Appeals has reversed a drug trafficking conviction against a Clovis man, who will face a new trial.

The court's unanimous decision was filed Thursday in the case of Mario Moncayo, 36.

Moncayo was arrested in December 2008 during a Region 5 Task Force raid in Clovis and accused of possessing 10 ounces of crack cocaine, 1/2 ounce of powder cocaine, 1 ounce of counterfeit methamphetamine and a small amount of marijuana.

He was convicted in May 2009 by a jury on a charge of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, said his attorney, Eric Dixon of Portales.

According to court documents, appeals court judges determined District Court Judge Stephen Quinn erred but not allowing Moncayo to confront one of his accusers during the trial.

Quinn allowed someone other than the person who tested the cocaine at the state crime lab to testify against Moncayo.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Andrea Reeb said the Moncayo decision is based on a technicality and she will ask the court to schedule a new trial. Reeb said court rules have been changed since the Moncayo trial, allowing testimony from someone other than the person who tested the drugs.

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