Alleged drug dealing at Nevada County Fair |

Alleged drug dealing at Nevada County Fair

Matthew Renda
Staff Writer

Alleged drug dealers arrested at the fair

While Nevada County Fairgrounds CEO Sandy Woods deemed the 2013 installation of the Nevada County Fair "one of the best attended and successful fairs in recent history," the annual festivity was marked with a couple of drug arrests.

On Saturday morning, just after midnight, Kenneth Stadler, 29, of Arvada, Colo., was arrested for alleged possession of cocaine, marijuana with intent to sell and brass knuckles, which are illegal, said Sheriff Keith Royal.

Stadler was an employee of Butler Amusements Inc., which is a contractor for the carnival portion of the Nevada County Fair, including administering rides and food concessions.

Stadler was employed at food concessions.

A Nevada County Sheriff's deputy was conducting a routine patrol of the Nevada County Fairgrounds on Saturday morning when he spotted a black Dodge pickup with its headlights on along the back fence of the fair.

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Determining such activity at that time of night to be abnormal, the deputy approached the vehicle's occupant, who turned off the headlights in an apparent attempt to escape detection, Royal said.

Upon contact, Stadler produced a Colorado driver's license and allegedly exhibited signs of undue stress, including stuttered speech and shaking hands, inciting the officer's suspicion.

Upon searching the vehicle, deputies located a backpack that contained a plastic bag with some white powder believed to be cocaine, Royal said.

Stadler reportedly denied ownership of the plastic bag, saying he often gives friends rides in his car.

Upon further search, officers located a locked box underneath the driver's seat, Royal said.

After obtaining the combination, officers opened the box and reportedly found several bags of marijuana prepackaged in similar amounts, a scale meant for measuring, a pair of knives and two sets of brass knuckles.

Stadler was booked into the Wayne Brown Correctional Facility Saturday morning.

Another alleged drug dealer was arrested at the fair on Friday.

Brandon Brown, 19, of Grass Valley, was arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance for sale, allegedly for trading ecstasy pills for beer tickets at the fairgrounds.

Sheriff's Sgt. Justin Martin was posted on Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control detail at the beer garden and was on the lookout for adults purchasing beer for minors, when he allegedly saw Brown pull the narcotics out of his sock and exchange them with another man for tickets, he said.

Martin apprehended Brown and after searching him, reportedly recovered about 15 ecstasy pills.

"It's not something we come across every day up here," Martin said. "I've spent about seven years on narcotics, and I've only seen it a handful of times."

The fair is a signature event that brings out the whole community, which includes recreational drug users, Martin said.

"It's a venue that attracts different people," he said.

Martin said he was unable to locate the man who gave Brown the beer tickets in exchange for the ecstasy, as that portion of the fairgrounds was extremely busy.

"We were just people-watching, and I happened to watch the right people at the right time," Martin said.

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Renda, email or 530-477-4239.

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