Recently, a 22-year-old suspect was arrested in Ventura on several narcotics charges after deputies working proactively found a heap of controlled substances, including fentanyl, methamphetamine, and Xanax, as well as evidence of narcotics sales and a loaded unregistered firearm.
The arrest began as many do, with a traffic stop being conducted. When deputies spoke with the driver, they learned he was on probation and then performed a search in accordance with the terms of the suspect’s probation. The source of the probation was a recent DUI conviction. While conducting the search, deputies found the controlled substances listed above and arrested 22-year-old R. Barajas of Ventura.
The suspect was booked into Ventura County jail and his bail is currently set at $100,000.
While the exact charges the suspect is facing were unavailable, it’s likely that at least one of them is the serious crime of possessing narcotics for sale. Covered under California Health and Safety Code 11351 HS, the possession of a controlled substance for sale is a felony. The substances covered by the law include hard drugs such as cocaine and heroin, as well as prescription drugs including oxycodone and hydrocodone.
In order to be charged with this crime, it must be proven that the suspect intended to sell the controlled substances. This can be proven by finding large amounts of a controlled substance in a person’s possession, packaging in separate baggies, the presence of one or more scales, large amounts of cash, and frequent visitors who stay for short periods of time.
HS 11351 is a felony punishable by probation and up to a year in county jail; two, three, or four years in county jail; and/or a maximum fine of $20,000. Interestingly, if a prosecutor can prove that the defendant made multiple sales of the drugs, the sentence can be imposed for each individual sale, which can quickly add up.