Former CHP officer arrested by Grass Valley police on drug, gun charges |

Former CHP officer arrested by Grass Valley police on drug, gun charges

James Michael Vandemark

A former California Highway Patrol officer faces drug charges after an investigation revealed suspected methamphetamine and firearms in his home, authorities said.

James Michael Vandemark, 70, is charged with possession of a controlled substance for sale and possession of a controlled substance while armed. Arrested Wednesday, he remained jailed Thursday under $35,000 in bond, reports state.

Grass Valley police began an investigation weeks ago into a home in the 100 block of Race Street after receiving several complaints, Capt. Steve Johnson said.

“People coming and going all hours of the day,” Johnson said. “Lots of traffic.”

The investigation led detectives to obtain a search warrant for the home. They executed the warrant around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, the captain said.

“Inside the house detectives located over an ounce of methamphetamine,” he added.

Officers found the suspected drug packaged in small quantities for sale. They also found three rifles, a shotgun and a loaded .45-caliber pistol, along with $1,000 in cash, digital weighing scales and packaging material, Johnson said.

Vandemark worked for 28 years with the California Highway Patrol, serving in the West Valley, Auburn and Grass Valley offices. He left the job in May 2000, said Lt. George Steffenson, commander of the Grass Valley area, in an email.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email or call 530-477-4239.

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