Not guilty pleas in meth bust
By Michelle Durand, Daily Journal Staff
The South San Francisco bartender arrested for reportedly selling two ounces of methamphetamine to undercover state agents pleaded not guilty to possession and sales charges but the patron thought to have provided the drugs continues to ask for more time.
Mark McCreery, a 51-year-old bartender for States Tavern at 200 Grand Ave., was arrested Wednesday for allegedly selling methamphetamine to undercover officers, according to the South San Francisco Police Department. Police also arrested Joseph Robles, 30, a bar patron and McCreery’s alleged drug source.
McCreery pleaded not guilty to the charges and remain in custody in lieu of $100,000 bail each. Robles delayed his plea to give him more time to retain his own lawyer.
McCreery is on felony probation for a 2004 drug possession conviction. He faces roughly 10 to 12 years if convicted of all the charges, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. He returns to court Oct. 13 for a preliminary hearing on the evidence.
Robles is a parolee facing a second strike if convicted. He has a prior assault conviction out of San Francisco.
Robles returns to court Oct. 17 to enter a plea, effectively ensuring his case will be severed from McCreery’s because of his earlier preliminary hearing date.
McCreery is also charged in a separate case with selling methamphetamine and stolen alcohol and cigarettes to undercover agents with the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control between June and August. McCreery pleaded not guilty to those charges. A co-defendant, Thomas Dennis, remains at large with an outstanding $35,000 arrest warrant.
The arrests capped a three-month investigation by police and the ABC into the tavern and neighboring Christie’s Bar and Grill. According to police reports, the agents sold McCreery property they said was stolen in exchange for methamphetamine on several occasions. They arrested McCreery Sept. 4 for allegedly selling and possessing methamphetamine but he posted bail and continued working at the bar.
On Wednesday, an undercover agent returned to States Tavern and swapped $1,350 and some more “stolen” property with McCreery for two ounces of methamphetamine. According to police, McCreery agreed to facilitate the methamphetamine sale, obtained the drug from Robles and then sold it to the undercover agent. Twice! Bail-crime-bail...what a dumbass!