Trial delayed for former Walla Walla Regional Airport janitor

Elias Alonso faces drug charges in connection with the discovery of meth in the janitorial room.

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WALLA WALLA -- A new trial date has been set for a longtime janitor at the Walla Walla Regional Airport who was arrested in December after suspected methamphetamine was found in the terminal.

Elias Alonso, 39, of 620 Chase Ave., had been scheduled for trial this Monday. But the proceedings now are set to begin May 23.

Alonso is charged in Walla Walla County Superior Court with possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine.

Officials said an airport employee discovered the nearly seven ounces of suspected meth -- with a street value of about $14,000 -- in the janitorial room Dec. 14.

Alonso reportedly told a Walla Walla County sheriff's detective he found the container in the parking lot and intended to inform the airport's security coordinator, but forgot.

Law enforcement officials speculate that Alonso may have been acting as a "mule," facilitating distribution of drugs from secure areas of the airport. But airport officials say there is no evidence any transactions took place in the secure area of the terminal building.

Alonso was arrested Dec. 17, but bail was posted later that day and he was released from the County Jail pending further court proceedings.

Port officials initially suspended him with pay, then fired him effective Jan. 15.

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

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