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Wednesday, Oct 03 2012 10:20 AM

Drug charges dismissed against man once accused of harboring alleged killer


Four felony charges and a misdemeanor have been dismissed against a man who had been accused earlier this year of harboring the alleged killer of two bail bondsmen.

The charges dismissed Monday against Mario Albert Melendez were not connected to the killings. Melendez is no longer listed as being in local custody, but there had also been a federal warrant for his arrest.

Dismissed were felony charges of drug possession for sales, transporting drugs, possession of ammunition by a person prohibited from possessing a gun and drug possession, as well as misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, according to Kern County Superior Court records.

In the bondsmen case, Melendez was arrested April 28 after officers tracked accused killer Stephen Stewart to Melendez's house on Talisman Drive, police reported.

Stewart is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of bail bondsmen brothers Zachary and Brandon Sims. His next court hearing is scheduled for Nov. 14.

- The Californian

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