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Preliminary Hearing Set For Los Gatos Men Accused of Illegally Furnishing Drugs

Next hearing for Marvin Bonham and roommate James Michael Schneider set for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22.

Marvin Bonham/Photo courtesy Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office
Marvin Bonham/Photo courtesy Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office
Los Gatos doctor Marvin Bonham, a former top administrator of Santa Clara County’s Health Plan, and housemate James Michael Schneider are scheduled to appear in Santa Clara County Superior Court at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22 for a discussion with a judge that could lead to a preliminary hearing next week.

Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Daniel Rothbach said the men are expected to appear again before Judge Javier Alcala at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29.

"It's just to see if we're actually going to go forward on the preliminary hearing," Rothbach said. "The case could be continued."

Bonham, 62, arrested in October of 2012, has been charged with 18 felonies alleging he traded prescriptions for powerful drugs—including Oxycontin—in return for cash and methamphetamines, according to Rothbach.

Schneider, 33, also arrested in October of 2012 by Santa Clara County sheriff's deputies, faces three drug-related felonies that include marijuana cultivation, felony possession of marijuana/hash for sale and felony conspiracy to commit crime.

Both men have entered not-guilty pleas, but they could be changed, according to Rothbach. 

Bonham is represented by criminal defense attorney Carol Marmorek and Schneider is represented by attorney Ben Koller. 

Prosecutors allege Bonham wrote more than half of his prescriptions for county residents who had criminal drug histories, offered to give minors meth and gave them marijuana.

On Oct. 3, 2012 officers served a search warrant at Bonham's hillside estate in Los Gatos located at 14704 Shannon Road and found weapons, sale quantities of methamphetamine, marijuana, ecstasy and a marijuana grow room in the crawl space under his estate, prosecutors say.

The men are being tried together. 

The case against Bonham is the result of a multi-agency probe, spearheaded by the Attorney General’s Santa Clara County Specialized Enforcement Team, entitled “Operation Oxy Exchange.”

The charges against Bonham include: possession of methamphetamine for sale, prescribing without legitimate medical purpose, prescribing to addicts, possession of psilocybin mushrooms, possession of ecstasy and possession of marijuana for sale. 

Bonham and Schneider are out of custody after posting bail. If convicted, Bonham faces up to 25 years in prison.

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