December 7, 2012 | Back to: Letters

Grass Valley man faces federal drug charges

A Grass Valley man has been charged with narcotics trafficking and will be arraigned in federal court Jan. 11.

Brenden Barker, 32, was stopped Aug. 24, 2011, by California Highway Patrol officers who were responding to a report of someone throwing things out of a vehicle.

The officers stopped Barker in a four-door Lincoln sedan on Brunswick Road. Barker allegedly told the CHP officer that he had thrown something but that he actually was trying to hit a different vehicle that had cut him off, according to the federal complaint.

Barker allegedly had a switchblade in his right front pocket but refused to comply with orders to turn around.

Instead, Barker allegedly ran back to his car. Both officers fired their stun guns, but Barker managed to flee, the complaint read.

As he drove away with the officers in pursuit, a witness reportedly saw Barker throw two bags out his window. The bags were recovered later and allegedly contained about 600 grams of Ecstasy — nearly 1 1/2 pounds — and more than 1 gram of LSD.

A large amount of plastic packaging material also was found, the complaint said.

The abandoned Lincoln was located several days later after a resident of Merrill Court in Grass Valley reported the vehicle had been parked near a driveway. A digital scale and DMV paperwork in Barker’s name allegedly were found inside.

After the federal criminal complaint was filed in January, the U.S. Marshals learned that Barker was living in the Oakland area and arrested him without incident, Newsom said.

He faces a maximum statutory penalty of 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email lkellar@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4229.

Liz Kellar
lkellar@theunion.com

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The Union Updated Dec 7, 2012 07:43AM Published Dec 17, 2012 01:46PM Copyright 2012 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.