An Ada County jury took less than four hours to find 48-year-old Robert Castoro, owner of the popular Boise restaurant Barbacoa, guilty of felony drug possession on Thursday, April 23. The jury also found Castoro to be not guilty of a felony count of domestic battery.
Castoro's attorney said his client's ex-fiancee, who had accused the restaurateur of battery, was not a credible witness and had lied about a June 2014 incident which landed her in the hospital. Castoro and his ex-fiancee had been in a two-and-a-half year relationship.
Meanwhile, prosecutors pointed to evidence, including a vial containing residue of cocaine and tests done by a state lab.
Castoro faces the possibility of a maximum sentence of seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine when he's sentenced in July.
ORIGINAL POST: April 20, 2015
- Ada County Sheriff's Office
- Prosecutors amended their initial complaint in September 2014 to charge Robert Castoro with domestic battery and drug possession. An August 5, 2014 jail listing had cited a code that also referred to manufacturing or delivering a controlled substance. But Castoro is charged with felony possession of a controlled substance and a felony charge of domestic violence.
The charges stem from a June 2014 domestic disturbance call, during which police say they found an unspecified amount of cocaine. Castoro was arrested in August 2014. And then an amended complaint was filed in September 2014 to include charges felony battery-domestic violence with traumatic injury against the restaurateur.
If convicted, Castoro could face up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $50,000. His felony drug possession charge could land him up to seven years in prison and/or a $15,000 fine.
Barbacoa opened in 2009, but the multimillion-dollar restaurant and bar burned to the ground in early 2010. It reopened New Year's Eve 2010 with a larger footprint than before—9,400 square feet—with new amenities like a DJ booth, a "secret" VIP room and a rooftop deck.