Arrests show heroin use on rise in Grass Valley

Five people were arrested in three separate incidents over the weekend in Grass Valley — all reportedly with black-tar heroin in their possession.

“It’s back with a vengeance,” said Grass Valley Police Sgt. Steve Johnson, linking the renewed popularity with the rise in addiction to synthetic opiates like Oxycontin. “What brought it back was prescription drugs become so prevalent. People get back on the opiate kick, and then they go back to heroin.”

Dale Devane Oakes, 30, was arrested just after 1:30 a.m. Saturday after being stopped by a police officer on a probation search.

The officer was patrolling Neal Street and saw Oakes in the Safeway parking lot, Johnson said. Oakes reportedly was found with a bindle of heroin in his pocket; he also reportedly had a backpack containing packaged methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, including two hypodermic needles.

Oakes was arrested on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia, as well as violating probation. He was being held without bail.

Within a minute or two, a different Grass Valley police officer made a traffic stop on a light violation that netted three arrests on drug charges, just south of McKnight Way on Highway 49.

All three occupants of the vehicle — driver Arthur Eddy Sierras, 20, and passengers Maria Sadie McCown, 22, and Rocklin Louis Duncan, 26 — reportedly displayed signs of being under the influence of a controlled substance, including being fidgety and evasive, talking rapidly and sweating profusely.

McCown allegedly admitted they all recently had been speed-balling — injecting heroin and meth.

A search of the vehicle reportedly uncovered about 1 gram of meth, more than 12 grams of heroin in about 20 bindles and more than 15 grams of marijuana packaged for sale, hidden in a variety of concealed compartments in the door and trunk, as well as scales.

“We later learned they purchased the drugs in Sacramento and were bringing them back to Grass Valley to sell,” Johnson said.

Duncan and Sierras both were out on bail on prior felonies; they each were arrested on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance, possessing for sale, transporting for sale, committing a felony while on bail, criminal conspiracy, possession of drug paraphernalia and being under the influence of a controlled substance.

They were being held in county jail in lieu of $71,500 bail.

McCown was arrested on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance, possessing for sale, transporting for sale, criminal conspiracy, possession of drug paraphernalia and being under the influence of a controlled substance. She was booked and released on $37,000 bail.

All three are set to be arraigned today in Nevada County Superior Court.

Jason David Oetter — who was wanted on an outstanding felony warrant — was arrested Sunday afternoon after reportedly trying to flee from a police officer.

The officer saw Oetter in a gas station on East Main Street at about 3:45 p.m. and knew he was wanted on the warrant, Johnson said.

Oetter reportedly dropped his backpack when he saw the officer and tried to flee. Two officers gave chase and took him into custody after a few blocks, Johnson said.

Oetter reportedly had a container in the pocket of his shorts that contained black tar heroin and two needles.

His backpack was searched and contained a MacBook Pro laptop that had been reported stolen from a vehicle in the Raley’s parking lot June 18, Johnson said.

Officers also reportedly found several cell phones in the backpack that were suspected to have been stolen; Johnson said the investigation is ongoing.

Oetter was arrested on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia, possessing stolen property, committing a felony while on bail and resisting arrest, as well as for the outstanding warrant.

He was being held in lieu of $21,250 bail.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email lkellar@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.


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The Union Updated Sep 4, 2013 11:00AM Published Oct 5, 2013 12:18AM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.