Prosecutors in California say that a 35-year-old man taken into custody following a traffic stop during the early morning hours of Aug. 31 was a leading figure in a narcotics trafficking organization that distributed methamphetamine throughout Humboldt County. The man is being held without bond at the Humboldt County Correctional Facility pending a court hearing that will examine the legitimacy of the funds proffered to pay his bail. He has been charged with possessing and transporting illegal drugs.
Agents from the Humboldt County Drug Task Force took the man into custody without incident after pulling his vehicle over near Phillipsville at approximately 12:30 a.m. According to media reports, agents obtained search warrants for the man’s car and Eureka residence after identifying him as a key suspect during a year-long narcotics investigation. A search of the vehicle was ordered after a K-9 unit allegedly alerted during an air sniff. Agents say that they discovered 20 pounds of methamphetamine inside the car that had been packaged in a way that suggested it was for sale.
The narcotics haul was the largest ever methamphetamine seizure in Humboldt County according to the HCDTF. The search of the man’s home is said to have led to the discovery of drug packaging materials and about $35,000 in U.S. currency. A HCDTF press release states that asset forfeiture proceedings are likely.
Individuals facing years or even decades in prison on drug trafficking charges may feel that they have little choice but to cooperate with police when the evidence against them is strong. Narcotics suspects should remain silent until they have spoken with a lawyer. Police may imply that cooperation will lead to more lenient treatment, but only prosecutors have the authority to reduce charges or penalties. When suspects remain silent, their attorneys may be able to secure more favorable plea terms by offering prosecutors cooperation and a swift resolution.