Ten arrested in “drug round up”

Wednesday’s arrests come after 9 month investigation

roundup

On July 30, 2014, the La Paz County Narcotics Task Force, made up of the La Paz County Sheriff’s Office, C.R.I.T. Police Department, U.S. Border Patrol and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office, conducted a “drug round up” in the areas of Ehrenberg, Quartzsite and the Parker Valley.

For the past nine months, the La Paz County Task Force has been conducting a series of narcotic related investigations across the County. During these investigations, undercover detectives and confidential informants have been purchasing methamphetamine from several alleged drug dealers. After making multiple purchases from each target, the Task Force closed out each case by presenting the cases to the County Attorney’s Office who then sent the paperwork to the local judge who in turn issued warrants for the suspects’ arrests.

According to the La Paz County Sheriff’s Office, this specific round up is ‘closing out’ cases in the Ehrenberg/Quartzsite areas and a very small portion of the CRIT Valley. The day of the round up, the Task Force formed several groups of consolidated arrest teams with the agencies and went door to door arresting the alleged suspects. The Quartzsite Police Department assisted the Task Force with the arrests in the Quartzsite area. It also had assistance from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Narcotics Team in Blythe which made the arrest of one arrested within their jurisdiction.

“There are still several pending cases throughout different areas and towns within La Paz County that will be addressed when the investigations are complete,” said Lieutenant Curt Bagby at the Sheriff’s Office.

The effect of a drug dealer on a neighborhood

“When a ‘meth dealer’ is arrested, most people just think ‘Good, another drug dealer is in jail,'” he said. “What a lot of people don’t take the time to consider is what kind of effect a drug dealer has on a neighborhood.”

Bagby continued:

“When an individual uses methamphetamine for example, they get an extreme rush of a chemical in the brain called dopamine. Dopamine is a natural chemical within the brain that is normally released in small increments. When using methamphetamine, the dopamine isn’t controlled and is released at a higher dosage causing the drug user’s desired effect. This desired effect or ‘rush’, creates a euphoric high that lasts anywhere from six to twelve hours.

When the person is coming down off meth, the brain stops producing the natural levels of dopamine, causing an extreme psychological low called a ‘crash’. The crash is very unpleasant to the user, causing him/her to seek out more methamphetamine at nearly any cost.

When a meth dealer is selling from their home, they are bringing several users into your neighborhood who normally do not belong there. Most of the time, these users don’t have enough money to buy from the dealer and they will take anything from the immediate area to give to the dealer in trade. Now because of this dealer, you have several meth users, who aren’t in the right state of mind, walking around your neighborhood looking for anything of value to steal to support their habit.

Once a person has taken the meth, as explained above, they go under a state of euphoric invincibility, causing often violent and aggressive behavior that contributes to a very high percentage of the crime within La Paz County.

When the Task Force makes an arrest on an alleged drug dealer, the objective is to ensure that the County Attorney’s Office has enough information to prosecute accordingly. The sentencing can be any type of corrective action from probation to prison. The hope is that we are able to remove the harmful elements from each neighborhood in La Paz County and either re-educate them with classes and counseling or send them to prison.”

According to Bagby’s statement, the types of drugs that are currently trending in La Paz County are methamphetamine, marijuana, prescriptions and heroin.

“If you notice suspicious activity in your neighborhood or you suspect a person is selling/using any illegal drugs, you can contact the Task Force at (928) 669-9645 or anonymously online at lapazsheriff.org. Remember, it takes much more than ‘suspicion’ to arrest a person for drug use or sales. The reason it takes several months for the Task Force detectives to complete a case is because we want to conduct a thorough investigation without violating anyone’s civil rights. If you do call in a complaint, we most likely won’t be able to keep the complainant updated on the progress. Just be patient with the system and hope that the problem will be addressed soon.”

Among those named and pictured above are Dennis Baragar, Linda Castleberry, Gene Clark Jr., Thomas Delano, Jose Flores, Angel Gonzalez, Harry Kuffel, Manuel Lopez, Alfredo Sambrano and Debra Stephens.

Parker Live wants to remind the reader that anyone arrested and charged with any crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

21 comments

  1. Angie N KJ Mitchell

    That’s some great looking people there… just sayin!!

  2. Ruben Villafana

    So if you bought from these people. Guess what your next! Good job Task Force.

  3. Sonny Hunter

    It take a year to catch these people too..

  4. Jose Moreno

    It takes a lot of work in to putting a case together to attain search warrants and prosecute Sonny Hunter.

  5. Aimee Stires

    So thankful that they are out there helping get this horrible drug off the street.
    It’s so hard to get off of meth and I hope some people learn from this,
    Thank you Task force!!!!!

  6. Sonny Hunter

    Yeah.. AND… SO THE WORK.. QUIT WASTING MONEY…

  7. Erin Isherwood Goodwin

    Man… those look like some winners right there…lol.

  8. The guy top left picture looks innocent. Good job task force, get the meth out of here!

  9. How about the dealers and users upriver? I have never seen this group walking up and down our streets before. must be from ehrenberg, the valley and Lazy D
    You think there is a full set of teeth between them all?
    Go ahead keep doing meth, this is your future.

  10. Well took long enough Gene Clark has been at as long as I can remember. Grew up watching tweakers run around while the awesome LA Paz county PD let theses guys go time and time again.

  11. Joshua Self

    Damn took long enough. I’ve grown up watching a few of these guys sling meth. Its nice to know they r off the streets maybe this time they won’t let them go like I’ve seen time and time again.

  12. sick of the corruption

    What about these confidential informants , they get to walk free ? They to sell drugs , run around getting caught and yet there charges are always dismissed,I wonder if they aren’t just working for the pd the whole time,setting people up who are users not dealers until they cross paths with these informants who get them to sell then get them busted , I’ve seen it so many times and they always have cars and money and seem to do what they want , I think its time we stop using snitches and use under cover police instead of the smooth talkin clean cut “informants” and there dopped up girlfriends ,ask the rounded up ones who got them selling and I bet it was an informant, shame on you justice system for not playing right in the first place ,allowing these drug dealer informants to cause damage to people who they started to began with. The good thing is if they take it to the box the snitches are revealed and just maybe they will get there’s , I know one of those people and I had know Idea what they were involed in ,and it breaks my families hearts to see this so maybe treatment for them is needed but prison should go to the informants and the ones you allow to use sell and set up others

  13. I have known them (TASK) to leave pregnant meth heads out on the street to use as informants, instead of locking them up for their on good and the good of the unborn child and yes the snitches walk free until they do something to get arrested again so they snitch again and get let go, I have been watching this cycle for years, there has got to be a be a better way to handle this situation.

  14. Charlie Philpot

    Thank goodness for our task force and the Lake Havasu Task Force! Keep on tracking and arresting these family wrecking pitiful people that don’t have a life!

  15. Keep up the great work Task Force!

  16. sick of it corupption

    Still what about the corruption. I see you guys keep giving them kudos but what about the money they never have been able to account for? We just let that slide way to go on vacation huh well get a badge brake any law or if you speak up. They kill or frame you . What about the snitches or agents of the pd who get to do what they want ? Give me a good answer and I. Will be hapy

  17. Parker is a place where they let you do it or put you took work for them is that what she said ..

  18. It is good these people are not endangering lives anymore. One of them is my step sister. She protected me from my violent father. She even survived the rape by a Blythe police officer at 13, who gave her drugs for sex. There are real stories behind all this, but yes we have to make choices. Im glad your children aren’t solicited by dealers both criminal an law enforcement.

  19. well hello i am one of those people!! i wasd framed by a lying cheatin dirty c.i took it to the box thanks #### #### ####. la-paz has so much corruption i spent 5 yrs in prison over this to have my conviction overturned look for a apology forth coming after i am done suing for false imprisionment deframation of character etc i never did anything wrong la-paz co task force they have snitches do their dirty work

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