New trial date set for Walla Walla gang member

Ricky J. Palomino faces drug, weapon and burglary charges and is being tried as an adult.

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WALLA WALLA -- A new trial date has been set for an admitted gang member facing drug, weapon and burglary charges.

Ricky J. Palomino, 17, of 258 Willard St., had been scheduled to face a Walla Walla County Superior Court jury Nov. 3 and 4. But the proceedings have been postponed until Jan. 10 and 11.

Palomino is accused of delivering marijuana and twice delivering cocaine to a confidential informant who went to his home directly across the street from Garrison Middle School on March 4.

He also faces charges of residential burglary and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. Officials said he fled into a residence in the 400 block of South Eighth Avenue on March 9 after a van he was in crashed into a parked vehicle. A loaded .32-caliber semiautomatic pistol was found in plain view on the floor of the van, according to authorities.

If convicted, Palomino could be locked up in prison for a decade because he is being tried as an adult. His case was transferred from the juvenile department of Superior Court after he declined to accept a prosecution plea offer that would have incarcerated him in a state institution until he turns 21.

Palomino's half brother, Roman Garcia, 22, was sentenced Aug. 2 to more than eight-and-a-half years in prison for two cocaine deliveries from the home in March.

Officials have said the house has been the site of numerous gang problems. In a letter filed in court, staff and students at Garrison describe several incidents of vandalism, harassment and gang recruitment believed to be associated with the residence during the past decade.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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