Thursday, 13 June 2024

Deputies arrest eight on drug charges


Sgt. Jim Samples found 127 pounds of marijuana buds in black plastic bags, a 9 mm handgun and 9 mm cartridges during the search. Courtesy photo.


LAKE COUNTY – On Tuesday Lake County Sheriff's deputies arrested eight men on a variety of drug-related charges, with two of the men facing additional counts relating to a concealed firearm.

Lt. Cecil Brown of the Lake County Sheriff's Office reported Wednesday that Sgt. Jim Samples and Deputy Carla Hockett arrested the men after Samples spotted attempted a traffic stop on one of the two vehicles in which the men were riding.

Brown's report explained that at 10:35 p.m. Tuesday Samples was patrolling in a marked sheriff's car along Highway 20 when he saw a brown GMC pick up following a white GMC Suburban at an unsafe distance.

Samples followed the two vehicles, Brown reported, and as he did so the pickup increased its following distance. The Suburban then slowed to 40 miles per hour and began driving erratically.

Brown said Samples attempted to place his patrol car between the pickup and the Suburban so that he could make a traffic stop of the Suburban. As a result the pickup decreased its following distance and wouldn't allow Samples to get between the two vehicles. When Samples used emergency lights and his turn indicator the pickup moved out of his way.

Samples asked Lake County Central Dispatch to check license plate numbers of both vehicles, Brown said. Central Dispatch told Samples that both vehicles were registered to the same person.

Brown reported that Samples stopped the Suburban on Highway 20 in Clearlake Oaks, while the pickup continued west. Samples asked Deputy Carla Hockett to attempt to locate and stop the pickup.

After he had stopped the Suburban Samples contacted Carlos Eduardo Morales, 21, of Boonville and Israel Aburto Araiza, 21, of Boonville, the vehicle's two occupants, according to Brown's report.

Samples could smell a strong odor of marijuana inside the Suburban and the driver, Morales, was unlicensed, reported Brown.

As a result Samples detained the two men and searched the Suburban, and found 127 pounds of marijuana buds in black plastic bags, a 9 mm handgun and loose 9 mm cartridges, Brown reported.

Araiza later said that he unloaded the handgun as Samples spoke to Morales, said Brown. Samples also found a handheld radio.

Meanwhile, Deputy Hockett located and stopped the pickup on Highway 20 in Lucerne. She contacted Jose Fernandez Rodriguez, 24, of Santa Rosa; Felix Chaves Ramirez, 19, of Rancho Cordova; Jose De Mendoza, 36, of Rancho Cordova; Diego Cervantez Zavala, 28, of Rancho Cordova; Moises Farias Chavez, 30, of Rancho Cordova; and Arnulfo Chavez Ramirez, 28, of Rancho Cordova inside the pickup.

Hockett found additional handheld radios, which were tuned to the same frequency as the radio in the Suburban. She also found additional black plastic bags.


All eight men were arrested for possession of marijuana and conspiracy to commit a crime. 


Morales and Araiza also were charged with possession of a concealable firearm in a vehicle and possession of a firearm while committing a felony.

Except for Jose Rodriguez, all of the men remain in jail on immigration holds, according to jail records.




The handgun and loose rounds found by Sgt. Samples. Courtesy photo.


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