Three defendants allegedly involved in a conspiracy to sell and distribute marijuana, MDMA and bath salts around the area, for at least a year, made their first appearances Thursday in U.S. District Court.

Setting a bond ended up being a moot issue for all three. Both Javon Arashalla Newton and Wilbert Lee Stephens Jr. have state holds on them — Newton, 30, for a felony probation violation, and Stephens, 26, for a felony probation violation and other state charges. Xontavious Dionte Hawkins, 32, is already serving time for a state conviction.

As tends to be the case with matters like this alleged conspiracy, there is a hefty amount of evidence, so defense counsel was told to provide prosecutors with a 1 terabyte drive for the purposes of sharing discovery with the defense.

Maurice Fields, 34 — the man at the top of the indictment in this case — had his initial appearance Nov. 16. At his detention hearing four days later, U.S. Magistrate Judge Benjamin Cheesbro ordered Fields detained until his case is disposed.

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