Four Washington state residents, three men and a woman, were arrested on drug related charges in two separate incidents in Alamo last week.
Deputy Sheriff Derek Foremaster said both incidents occurred on June 23.
He said that day the Sheriff’s Department, including the two drug dogs, conducted a drug interdiction on U.S. 93, assisted by two detectives with the Eastern Nevada Narcotics Task Force in Ely. “We do this periodically a couple of times a year or so,” he said. “This time on 93 in the Alamo area. We wanted to focus on travelers prior to the 318 and 93 junction.”
About 12:45 p.m. deputies stopped a blue Chevrolet Suburban with seven occupants out of Washington traveling north, because of an obstructed window.
The drug dog was deployed around the exterior of the vehicle and indicated something was inside. “Based on that,” Foremaster said, “it was probable cause to search the vehicle.”
Paul Ferguson, Max Dela Cruz Estrada, and Violet McWerick were all arrested and charged with various drug related offenses.
Ferguson, 20, of Enumclaw, Wash., was charged with being under the influence of a controlled substance, possession of a schedule 1 through 4 drug, DUI first offense, actual or constructive possession of three marijuana pipes, and three gel caplets containing a white crystallized like substance which tested on the scene as “presumptively positive for methamphetamines,” Foremaster said.
Estrada, 19, from Lynwood, Wash., was arrested for actual or constructive possession of a red pill, which tested presumptively positive as Ecstasy.
McWhirk, 19, of Bellingham, Wash., was charged in possession of five clear gel caplets with a brown crystallized like substance which also tested presumptively positive for methamphetamines.
One other person in the Suburban was cited for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, given a citation and released.
The second incident occurred about 6 p.m. when a white 2008 Chevrolet four-door vehicle was cited for a speeding violation near Ash Springs. The drug dog alerted to the scent of a controlled substance and officers found a black bag belonging to Zakory Zaperin, 23, from Marysville, Wash.
The bag contained a substance that tested presumptively positive for the presence of heroin. Also found was over an ounce of a “green leafy substance” recognized as marijuana, a scale containing remnants of the same green leafy substance, and prescription medication which Zaperin did not have a prescription for. He was charged with possession of a controlled substance, including heroin, possession of a dangerous drug without a prescription, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Foremaster said marijuana in its natural form, “is pretty easy to recognize from it’s appearance and smell.”
A testing kit deputies carry on board, he said, allows them to do on-the-spot tests involving a suspected drug. “In larger cases, the items can be sent to the forensic lab for analysis. But in the field, the kit allows for a presumptive determination and helps with our conclusion to verify our suspicion.”
Over the course of the day, Foremaster said there were four drug arrests, and three citations for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.
The people arrested were taken to the Lincoln County Detention Center, but have since been released on bail and may appear in Pahranagat Valley Justice Court, unless they waive the appearance upon advice from their defense lawyer in consultation with the Lincoln County District Attorney. However, all four will be required to appear in District Court at time yet to be determined.