Deputies patrolling the back alleys of Sunset Hills in Stevenson Ranch took another drug dealer off the street with the arrest of Melissa Gonzalez, who they believe was running a drug sales operation from her vehicle.
Shortly before 8 a.m., two deputies were checking out the areas near the hotels along the 25000 block of The Old Road when they saw two people who appeared to be either passed out or asleep in the vehicle.
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Sgt. Darren Harris of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Crime Prevention bureau explained.
“They stopped to check on the welfare of the two and make sure everything was OK and when they approached the vehicle to contact the occupants, they found out they were alright, but there was a strong odor of marijuana emitting from the vehicle,” he said.
Through their field investigation, deputies confiscated more than three pounds of marijuana; a number of individually packed baggies of hashish and bottles of hash oil, cocaine, scales and a substantial quantity of cash.
The estimated street value of the drugs exceeds $10,000.
Gonzalez, 34, a resident of San Francisco, was arrested on suspicion of transporting and selling drugs up and down the coast. Harris said that she and her companion, a male in his 30s who also lives in San Francisco, were headed for Glendale, but had stopped to sleep near the hotel. The man was not arrested and was released.
Gonzalez is being held at the Santa Clarita station in lieu of $25,000 bail. She faces charges of possession of drugs for sale, based on the quantity of drugs, money and other items of narcotic paraphernalia found in the vehicle.
Harris said that the investigation into the incident continues.
“This is a good example of proactive deputies going out and doing some good police work, looking to keep our community safe,” he said. “This isn’t a call for service, this is a couple of deputies observing, out patrolling the back ways and behind hotels trying to keep our community safe and this kind of stuff out of our community.:
He referred to the transient nature of the pair, adding “The I-5 is a major thoroughfare, and if we can convince them this isn’t a good place to stop, then that’s what we’re going to do.”