According to authorities in Simi Valley, a suspected drug dealer was using a drone to deliver heroin to customers. On Friday, March 19th, law enforcement officers finished their investigation into their suspect, J. Piani, of Simi Valley, after it was believed he was selling methamphetamines and heroin.
When officers arrested the suspect on Friday, the arresting officer reported that the suspect was operating a drone at the time of the arrest. When the drone was investigated, police found what they believed to be heroin attached to it.
The suspect was taken to the Ventura County Jail where he was booked on suspicion of possessing drugs for sale – a felony. He is currently being held in lieu of $125,000 bail.
Possession of drugs for sale is covered under California Health and Safety Code 11351 HS and is described as possessing certain controlled substances in order to sell them. These can be narcotics like heroin and cocaine, or subscription medications such as Vicodin or Xanax.
In order to prove that a person intended to sell the controlled substances in their possession, “indicia of sale” must be proven. This can happen by
- Finding large quantities of the controlled substance
- Packaging it in separate baggies or bundles
- Possessing one or more scales
- Large amounts of cash – particularly in small denominations ($5s, $10s, $20s)
- A lot of people coming to a residence but staying only a few minutes
California Health and Safety Code 11351 HS is a felony that is punishable by probation and up to 1 year in county jail, or 2, 3, or 4 years in county jail and/or a maximum fine of $20,000. To make matters worse, if it can be proven that the defendant intended to make multiple sales, the above penalties can be applied to each individual sale, meaning that a person could spend many, many years in jail over a single arrest.