Happy Valley in Shasta County was not living up to its name on Tuesday evening, July 14, when police received reports of someone shooting from a moving vehicle. The shooting reportedly occurred on Happy Valley Road. Police reported that the caller described the vehicle, which police allegedly stopped a short time later. They arrested the driver and his passenger, both California residents, on drug crime charges relating to methamphetamine possession.
Deputies say that they stopped the vehicle on Bohn Boulevard because it fit the description reported by the caller. The police searched the driver and his passenger, and they also searched the car. They allegedly found an undisclosed amount of methamphetamine, scales and drug paraphernalia.
Authorities reportedly also found a stolen handgun, which they allege was fired by the passenger earlier in the evening. They arrested both men on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine for sale. The passenger was also arrested for negligently firing a gun and other gun charges.
The amount of the methamphetamine found in the car was not reported. Whether or not the possession with intent to sell charges can be proved will depend on how much was found, how it was packaged, and any other circumstances indicating whether or not the drug was held for sale. As a general rule, when the drug is parceled into separate small baggies, this is an indication of intended sales. Possessing a scale along with a quantity of baggies would be an indication of the intent to sell, but not necessarily a conclusive finding, depending on the totality of the facts.
If the police stopped the car based on an accurate description of a vehicle involved in a shooting, it is unlikely that the occupants can object to a search of their persons or the car. All of the surrounding facts regarding the drug crime charges will have to be evaluated, but at this point it would appear to be a situation where negotiations for a fair sentence early in the process may be particularly beneficial for the accused. In California as well as elsewhere, early negotiations aggressively conducted by experienced defense counsel can often lead to a significantly reduced sentence.
Source: redding.com, "Shooting call leads to drug bust in Happy Valley", July 15, 2015