CHP accuses trio of drug transportation, possession during Nevada County traffic stop | TheUnion.com

CHP accuses trio of drug transportation, possession during Nevada County traffic stop

Three men accused of having suspected methamphetamine and marijuana for sale remained in jail Monday under bond, Nevada County authorities said.

James Alex Barnhart, 22, and David Irl Denniston, 27, both of Grass Valley, and Joseph Philip Eckel, 26, of Nevada City, each face charges of possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for sale and transportation of a controlled substance. Barnhart also has a probation violation, jail records state.

The men remained held Monday on $37,500 in bond, authorities said.

The arrests stem from a broken brake light and expired registration on a 1996 Honda Civic that California Highway Patrol officers spotted around 2:50 a.m. Sunday, CHP Officer Greg Tassone said.

Authorities saw the vehicle turning on Gold Flat Road from Highway 20, stopping it when they saw the violations, Tassone added.

"During the stop, they found one of the passengers had a warrant for his arrest," Tassone said of Barnhart.

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Officers arrested Barnhart and found a small amount of suspected methamphetamine on him. They then discovered about 2 ounces of suspected meth and over a pound of marijuana in the vehicle, leading to the arrest of all three men, Tassone said.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.

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