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November 12, 2013
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Traffic stop ends in arrest on drug charges

Some erratic driving — and the reek of air freshener coming from the vehicle after a traffic stop — reportedly led to the arrest of two Nevada men on drug charges Friday.

A Nevada County Sheriff’s deputy observed the vehicle driving southbound on Highway 49 at about 4:40 p.m. and noticed it had no front plate, said Capt. Jeff Pettitt.

As the deputy began to follow the vehicle, he reportedly saw it jerk several times to the right side of the road across the white line.

He initiated a traffic stop and approached the passenger side of the vehicle, but the passenger reportedly would only roll the window down slightly.

After the deputy asked him to roll the window down further, he noted an “overwhelming smell of air freshener,” Pettitt said.

The deputy’s suspicions reportedly were also piqued by the fact that the passenger was refusing to make eye contact, even during a search of the vehicle.

He then searched the man, identified as Rafael Espinoza, and felt a baggie in his pocket that the suspect tried to grab away from him, Pettitt said.

The deputy reportedly was able to retrieve the bag and found about 9 grams of suspected ecstasy and 3.59 grams of suspected cocaine. The driver of the vehicle, James Barker Brock, reportedly admitted that he gave the drugs to Espinoza to hold for him.

Espinoza, 20, of Gardnerville, Nev., and Brock, 19, of Carson City, were both booked into county jail on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance, transportation and transportation for sale of a controlled substance and criminal conspiracy and were released on $35,000 bail.

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


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The Union Updated Nov 13, 2013 07:58AM Published Nov 18, 2013 10:25AM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.