LEEDS — Two California men found sleeping in their vehicle in Leeds were arrested Tuesday after authorities found multiple drugs and a loaded firearm in their car.
While patrolling the Leeds area at approximately 3:17 a.m., Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy Forrest VanWest came upon a vehicle parked in the dirt near Silver Reef Road and Main Street and stopped to see if the occupants of the car needed assistance, VanWest wrote in probable cause statements supporting the arrests. When he approached the vehicle, VanWest found two men asleep — one in the driver’s seat and one in the passenger seat.
VanWest announced himself as being with the Sheriff’s Office, which woke the two men, later identified by their driver’s licenses as Shane Hood and Robert Henry, both of Clovis, California.
When VanWest asked the men if they needed any help, Hood grabbed at a compartment in the vehicle’s door, according to the statement, and VanWest could see a glass pipe with residue in it. He told Hood to let go of the pipe.
“Shane shifted in his seat and (another) glass pipe fell out of his lap onto the side of his drivers seat,” VanWest said in the statement. “This glass pipe had a burnt substance inside of it.”
According to the statement, VanWest then radioed for backup and handcuffed Hood for officer safety reasons. He asked the two men if there were any weapons in the vehicle. Hood said no, but Henry said there was a loaded handgun on the back seat. VanWest then cuffed Henry, as well.
Two other officers responded to assist VanWest. VanWest frisked Henry and Hood and discovered a long switchblade in Henry’s back pocket. No weapons were found on Hood, according to the statement.
Both men were advised of their Miranda rights, VanWest said in the statement, and both agreed to answer questions without an attorney present.
A search of the vehicle uncovered an additional glass pipe containing a burnt substance inside a driver door compartment, and yet another pipe containing a burnt substance was found in the vehicle along with the handgun, which was loaded.
“I then located two baggies of crystal substance, a scale, butane lighters and many plastic baggies in the middle console,” VanWest said in the statement.
In the trunk of the vehicle, VanWest found a black bag partially concealed in the trunk’s fabric that contained another bag of crystal substance suspected to be methamphetamine. In the back seat of the car, a green, leafy substance suspected to be marijuana was then found in a plastic container.
When questioned, Hood and Henry each admitted the substances found were methamphetamine and marijuana, VanWest said in the statement. Both admitted to smoking drugs in the pipes and also admitted to knowing about the items found in the center console. Hood additionally admitted the meth in the black bag and the marijuana in the back seat were his.
“Shane and Robert both stated they hadn’t been selling drugs, but were just drug users,” VanWest said in the statement. “Shane and Robert both stated they knew that it appeared that they were selling it.”
Henry had $1,300 in cash on his person but said he had obtained the money from gambling and also being paid, but he said he understood it looked like drug money.
The two men had been separated when they were cuffed. One of the other deputies checked on Henry, as he had been seated in a patrol car for a while, and discovered Henry had spilled methamphetamine on the vehicle’s floorboard. Henry said repeatedly the meth was not his.
According to the statement, when deputies conducted a second search of Henry, they found him to be in possession of more drugs.
“While taking off Robert’s sock, we found a plastic bag with a crystal substance inside,” VanWest said in the statement. “Robert stated it was meth and that he had tried to get it out of his sock while sitting in (the deputy’s) vehicle.”
Both men told VanWest they were felons who had been convicted about three years earlier, according to the statement. They also said they knew the firearm was in the vehicle, but Henry said it belonged to him.
The two men were arrested and booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.
Henry was charged with one second-degree felony for possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute; one third-degree felony for possession of a firearm by a restricted person and one third-degree felony for obstruction of justice; and two class B misdemeanors for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. His bail for release stands at $30,680 cash or bond.
Hood was also charged with one second-degree felony for possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute; one third-degree felony for possession of a firearm by a restricted person; and two class B misdemeanors for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. His bail stands at $27,040 cash or bond.
This report is based on preliminary information provided by the authorities and may not contain the full scope of findings.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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