ALHAMBRA >> A police dog sniffed out methamphetamine, money and a scale, leading to the arrest of an alleged drug dealer following a routine traffic stop on Valley Boulevard early Wednesday.
An officer stopped a car for a traffic violation about 2:30 a.m. in the 1700 block of West Valley Boulevard, Alhambra police Sgt. Tai Seki said.
Alhambra police narcotics detection dog Abbey, a chocolate Labrador retriever, was summoned to the scene, police said. Police searched the car after Abbey alerted to the presence of drugs.
Officers ultimates recovered several grams of methamphetamine divided into individually baggies, a digital scale and about $300 in cash from the passenger compartment of the car, Seki said.
Driver Nicholas Paul Gomez, 29, of Los Angeles was arrested for possession of drugs for sales, according to police and county booking records. Passenger Danis Luna, 30, of Los Angeles was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Alhambra Police Department
COVINA >> Police arrested a security guard at a Downtown Covina restaurant and nightclub Friday night on charges of selling cocaine to undercover investigators at the business three times in recent months, authorities said.
Covina police and California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control agents arrested Christopher Rodriguez, 22, of Baldwin Park about 10:30 p.m. while he was working at the Red Lounge & Restaurant, 211 N. Citrus Avenue, according to Covina police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Rodriguez is a contractor employed by Whittier-based Executive Sentry Services, police said.
Covina police assisted in making the arrest, which was the result of an undercover ABC investigation, Covina police Sgt. Gregg Peterson said.
“They started conducting surveillances in the location,” the sergeant said. “They were able to facilitate some purchases. They were able to do it on three separate occasions.”
Peterson described the amounts of cocaine sold each transaction as smaller, “personal use” amounts.
Investigators obtained an arrest warrant for Rodriguez, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office filed three charges of drug sales against him, police said in a written statement.
“They believed this person was operating out of the business, and it wasn’t an isolated incident,” Peterson said.
It did not appear the establishment itself was linked to the alleged narcotics sales, he said.
“There’s no evidence showing that the club was associated with it whatsoever,” the sergeant said. “It appears (Rodriguez) was acting on his own behalf.”
Red owner Everett Ramos said he was shocked by the arrest of Rodriguez, one of 10 security guards contracted through Executive Sentry Services on any given business night. After about 10 ABC agents and police officers arrested Rodriguez, Ramos said they told him of the allegations.
Representatives of Sentry Executive Services could not be reached for comment Saturday.
Ramos said he saw no signs Rodriguez was up to illegal activity, and he appeared to be a good worker.
“I run a legitimate businesses,” Ramos said. “I’m always willing to do things to make it better.”
Though officials appeared friendly during their visit to Red late Friday, Ramos said he wished they could have made the arrest in a more discreet way.
“It didn’t look good,” he said.
In addition to the criminal investigation targeting Rodriguez, ABC officials planned to conduct an administrative investigation, and city officials will review the businesses’ permits, Peterson said.
Regarding the pending administrative reviews of his business, Ramos said, “I’m a little bit concerned, but I’ve done nothing wrong.”
According to county booking records, Rodriguez was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Monday in West Covina Superior Court.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Covina Police Department
PASADENA >> Police arrested a man and recovered 27 grams of methamphetamine and a loaded handgun during what began as a routine traffic stop Thursday, officials said.
Sanjay Kumar Varma, 33, of Pasadena is accused of possession of methamphetamine for sale and several weapons violations following his 6:19 p.m. arrest in the 3400 block of East Foothill Boulevard, according to Pasadena police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
After stopping Varma for a traffic violation, officers conducted a pat-down search, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
They found a loaded 9mm handgun on his person, along with the drugs, he said.
Varma was being held in lieu of $80,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, records show.
PASADENA >> Police arrested a suspect and seized 77 pounds of cocaine, a handgun and a large amount cash during a bust last week in a residential neighborhood, officials announced Sunday.
Few details were available regarding the raid, which took place Thursday in the 1000 block of Raymond Avenue, Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez said in a written statement.
“The warrant was based on an ongoing drug trafficking investigation,” according to the chief. “During the search of the residence, 35 kilos of cocaine, a semi-automatic handgun and a large amount of currency were recovered.”
One suspect was arrested, however his identity was not available Sunday.
“It is likely the cocaine was destined to the streets of Pasadena and surrounding cities,” Sanchez said.
Lt. John Mercado deferred comment to vice detectives, who were not available Sunday.
ARCADIA >> A routine traffic stop for running a stop sign in Arcadia early Thursday led to the discovery of methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia, a pipe, baggies, a scale, stolen credit cards and checks, burglary tools, officials said.
Police arrested the driver Eric Rey, 42, of West Covina, along with passengers Iris Samberg, 46, and Nicole Strohm, 34, both of Pasadena, on suspicion of a laundry list of crimes following the 2:30 a.m. traffic stop on Santa Anita Avenue, just north of the 210 Freeway, Arcadia police Lt. Mike Castro said.
In addition to the drug, identity theft-related charges, the trio is also accused of child endangerment, Castro said. The 14-year-old son of Strohm was a passenger in the Chevrolet 2500 pickup truck and was released to his father.
Ann officer saw the pickup truck blow through stop sign at 5th Avenue and Santa Clara Street, Castro said. After the driver pulled over along Santa Anita Avenue, the officer found that Rey’s driver’s license was suspended.
While searching the truck, police found a clear plastic bag containing “a large amount of a white substance determined to be methamphetamine,” Castro said. Alongside the meth, police found a digital scale and plastic baggies, often used by dealers to used to meter out portions of the drug. The exact amount of drugs recovered was not available.
Police recovered small amounts of cocaine and marijuana from the truck, along with syringes and a marijuana pipe, the lieutenant said.
Additionally, about 40 credit cards in other peoples’ names were seized, along with allegedly stolen checks, suspected stolen mail and burglary tools including bolt cutters and picks, he said.
According to county booking records, Rey Strohm were being held in lieu of $100,000 bail each, while Samberg was being held in lieu of $115,000 bail. All three were scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Pasadena Superior Court.
WEST COVINA >> Police discovered 28 grams of methamphetamine hidden in a Rialto man’s buttocks Sunday after taking him into custody for a probation violation following a routine traffic stop in West Covina, authorities said.
Jimmy Ontiveros, 24, was booked on suspicion of possession of narcotics for sale, possession of narcotics in a custodial environment and violating his probation stemming from a previous case, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
An officer pulled over a 2004 Dodge Intrepid just after 9 a.m. at Cameron and California avenues, the lieutenant said.
The driver was ultimately released with a citation, he said. But officers discovered that a passenger, Ontiveros, was wanted for violating his probation.
While searching the suspect during the booking process, officials first discovered a small amount of methamphetamine hidden inside Ontiveros’ sock, Patton said.
Police then discovered 28 additional grams of methamphetamine concealed between the suspect’s buttocks, he said.
In addition to possession of drugs for sales, Ontiveros is accused of an additional felony for bringing drugs into a secure portion of a police department.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Ontiveros was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.
PASADENA >> Pasadena police arrested a suspected gang member and recovered 18 grams of methamphetamine, along with replica handgun, Friday afternoon, officials said.
Victor Aguilar Mendoza, 21, was booked on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine for sales, according to Pasadena police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
The arrest came after an officer tried to stop Mendoza for committing a traffic violation while riding a bicycle about 5 p.m. in the 500 block of N. Marengo Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
Police chased the suspect as he fled into a nearby apartment, the lieutenant said. He obeyed commands to come out about five minutes later.
Mendoza consented to a search of his apartment, during which police found 18 grams of methamphetamine and a pistol only capable of firing “blanks,” Luna said.
Mendoza was being held in lieu of $70,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, according to booking records.
ALHAMBRA >> Police discovered a methamphetamine lab inside an Alhambra apartment Friday, officials said.
Officers checking up on an elderly man at the request of his landlord found the clandestine drug lab about 1:40 p.m. at an apartment in a complex at 110 N. Chapel Avenue, Alhambra police Sgt. Jerry Johnson said.
A landlord asked police to check on the apartment after not hearing from it’s elderly resident for several days, the sergeant said. “He was very concerned.”
Police went to the apartment and found “large pots filled with foul-smelling chemicals” throughout, Johnson said. No one was at the home, and the apartment did not appear as if anyone lived there.
Officials evacuated nine people from nearby apartments as they summoned a hazardous materials crew and a California Department of Justice team specializing in meth lab clean-up, Johnson said.
Preliminary testing confirmed the operation was a methamphetamine lab, he said.
It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the lab, or whether the elderly man police were initially sent to check on was involved, police said. The resident still had not been found Friday evening.
No suspects were in custody as the investigation continued, Johnson said.
The evacuated residents were allowed to return to their homes about 6:30 p.m., Johnson said. The clean-up process continued Friday night.
WEST COVINA >> A police task force arrested a convicted felon Tuesday and seized a cache of 27 guns — including an assault rifle, thousands of rounds of ammunition and methamphetamine during a probation compliance check at his West Covina home, officials said.
Michael Louis Urac, 42, is accused of possession of an unauthorized assault weapon, possession of firearms by a convicted felon and possession of controlled substances and a firearm, according to Pomona police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
The bust took place about 7:30 a.m. at Urac’s home in the 100 block of North Lang Avenue in West Covina, Pomona police Sgt. Bert Sanchez of the San Gabriel Valley East AB Task Force said in a written statement. Officers showed up for a probations compliance sweep, as Urac is on probation from am previous drug-related conviction.
Task force members found Urac at the home and arrested him after finding him to be in possession of methamphetamine, Sanchez said.
“During the subsequent search of his residence, a false door was located within the garage,” the sergeant said. In it were several rifles, including an assault rifle with scope and laser, and thousands of rounds of live ammunition. Several more rifles were located inside a separate bedroom belonging to the suspect. In total, 26 rifled (and) shotguns were recovered, including an assault rifle.”
Police also seized several high-capacity magazines from Urac’s home and a loaded, .380-caliber handgun from his car, Sanchez said.
According to county booking records, Urac posted $50,000 bail and the same day of his arrest and was released from custody pending his initial court appearance.
The San Gabriel Valley East AB 109 Task Force is comprised of officers from 10 San Gabriel Valley police agencies, officials said. The team’s primary task is conducting compliance checks on convicts released from custody under the guidelines of AB 109, also known as the 2011 Public Safety Realignment.
MONROVIA >> A man burned himself while allegedly trying to manufacture synthetic marijuana at a Monrovia home on New Year’s Day, authorities said.
The incident was first reported about 8:10 p.m. Thursday as a small fire at a home in the 100 block of E. Fig Avenue, Monrovia police Lt. Nick Manfredi said. A man was taken to a hospital with burns to his face and hands.
Officials determined the man had been using volatile chemicals as part of a process to create synthetic marijuana, or “spice,” the lieutenant said. “A lit cigarette caused the solution to ignite.”
Paramedics took the man to a hospital for treatment, Manfredi said. The extent of the man’s injuries was not available.
Monrovia police turned the investigation over to a regional task force. It was not clear what charges the man may face.