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Suspect in Summit Lake drug bust is released without bail

Nicholas J. Canino appeared in Thurston County Superior Court on Tuesday. Public defender Angela Colaiuta sits next to him.
Nicholas J. Canino appeared in Thurston County Superior Court on Tuesday. Public defender Angela Colaiuta sits next to him. Rolf Boone

Nicholas J. Canino, 26, a suspect in a Monday marijuana bust near Summit Lake, was released without bail Tuesday in Thurston County Superior Court.

However, Commissioner Nathan Kortokrax still found probable cause for charges of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Canino’s arraignment is set for Dec. 18.

The state sought bail of $2,000, raising concerns about the more than $100,000 in cash found at the scene of the arrest, along with a 12-gauge shotgun. The Thurston County Narcotics Task Force also seized 250 pot plants and 300 pounds of processed pot on Monday.

But Canino’s public defender, Angela Colaiuta, countered that Canino has no prior criminal history. Although Colaiuta represented Canino during Tuesday’s preliminary hearing, it was disclosed that he has the funds to hire a private attorney.

Kortokrax acknowledged the large amount of pot and cash that was found, but was unmoved simply by the presence of a shotgun with no other specifics. Based on that, and Canino’s lack of criminal history, he released the man on his own recognizance.

But Kortokrax did impose pre-trial supervision, and Canino is not to have contact with the Summit Lake address. He also is not to possess or consume controlled substances without a lawful prescription, nor have no contact with drug users, dealers and manufacturers.

Acting on a tip, the Narcotics Task Force obtained two search warrants then arrived about 4 p.m. Monday at the home the 2300 block of Summit Lake Shore Road Northwest.

During the investigation they detained two people without incident, including Canino. The task force did not have probable cause to arrest a woman at the scene, said Capt. David Johnson.

According to a charging document, Canino allegedly told investigators that he has no legitimate employer, and that he grows and tends to the marijuana in two buildings for the owners of the property.

The task force anticipates making more arrests.

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