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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels

Pot conviction is least of teen’s problems

The teenage roommate of a murdered marijuana dealer was sentenced to time served in jail on a drug dealing charge last week.

But Miguel A. Rodriguez-Barbosa won't be getting out of jail anytime soon. He was in the country on a work VISA and faces deportation after being convicted of a felony.

He also faces an ongoing investigation into a murder that detectives believe he knows all about.

The 18-year-old was credited for 72 days served in Spokane County Jail on Thursday.

Search warrants filed that same day show detectives are convinced he was involved - not just a 'person of interest' - in the shooting death of his roommate, 25-year-old victim Jesus Torres Valdovinos.

Valdovinos was found dead and wrapped in a blanket and plastic bags along Day-Mount Spokane Road Oct. 18.

Rodriguez-Barbosa declined comment to a reporter when reached by cell phone shortly after Valdovinos' body was found. He was arrested Oct. 27 on one count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.

An acquaintance, Marco Antonio Noriega-Lopez, 27, was arrested on drug charges late last month and also is a suspect in the case, according to a search warrant filed last week seeking phone records.

"Based on the known association between Barbosa and Noriega, the numerous phone calls between their phones the day of the murder and their fingerprints being found on the plastic bags from the victim's body, your affiant believes they are both somehow involved with the victim's murder," according to the search warrant.

Past coverage

Murder victim's roommate eyed as suspect

 Homicide victim linked to drug sales

 Homicide victim's roommate arrested on drug charges

Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.