On July 6, a man was arrested in Santa Clarita on suspicion of possession of narcotics and stolen property (catalytic converters). The incident began like many others in the SCV – patrolling deputies spotted a vehicle with expired registration. After searching both the man and his vehicle, they discovered methamphetamine, two stolen catalytic converters, and a replica firearm.

The initial stop likely would only have involved a ticket had the man had a valid driver’s license. His driver status is what prompted the deputies to search him and the vehicle.

Both the narcotics and replica firearm were found on the suspect tucked away in the waistband of his pants. He was taken to the Santa Clarita Sheriff Station to be booked on suspicion of receiving stolen property.

Receiving stolen property is covered under California Penal Code 496 PC and is described as buying, receiving, concealing, selling, or withholding property you know to have been obtained through extortion or theft. The crime is a “wobbler” that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the case and the defendant’s prior criminal history.

When charged as a misdemeanor the potential penalties include misdemeanor probation, up to 1 year in county jail, and/or a maximum fine of $1,000. Felony convictions carry the potential penalties of formal probation, up to 3 years in county jail, and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Possession of a controlled substance is covered under California Health and Safety Code 11350 HS. The law makes it a misdemeanor offense to possess controlled substances – including narcotics and prescription medications – without a valid prescription.

Some examples include illicit street drugs like cocaine and heroin, in addition to prescription drugs like Xanax and Oxycontin. The maximum punishment includes up to one year in county jail and a max fine of $1,000.

Apparently, it isn’t illegal to carry a replica firearm.