On Tuesday, January 7th, at around 12 am, deputies patrolling The Old Road noticed a suspicious man approaching patrons at a nearby gas station. Upon investigating, the deputies discovered that the suspicious man (and the driver of the vehicle) had a warrant out for his arrest, as did one of the two passengers in the vehicle. After a short search, deputies also discovered narcotics, heroin, and meth as well as merchandise believed to be stolen and a loaded firearm.
All three men were subsequently arrested and brought to the Santa Clarita Sheriff Station to undergo booking and processing.
While it remains unclear as to whether the merchandise in the vehicle was stolen or not, possession of a controlled substance is covered under California Health and Safety Code 11350 HS. The law makes it illegal to possess certain controlled substances without a valid prescription.
A controlled substance is defined as a drug or chemical whose manufacture, possession, and use are controlled by the government. Some of these substances include narcotics such as cocaine and heroin, though the law also covers some prescription medications including oxycodone and codeine. Interestingly, 11350 HS does not apply to marijuana or stimulants. These other substances have their own laws, such as 11357 HS for marijuana and 11377 HS for amphetamines and other stimulants.
Most of the time, violations of California Health and Safety Code 11350 HS are charged as misdemeanors and carry the possible penalties of jail time and/or a maximum fine of up to $1,000. In certain cases possession of a controlled substance can be charged as a felony. Those cases include if the defendant has previously been convicted of a sex crime or a serious felony. If so, and the crime is charged as a felony, the possible penalty is increase to up to 3 years in jail.