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Meth, black tar heroin, and cash seized during Victorville probation check

VICTORVILLE, Calif. (VVNG.com) San Bernardino County Probation Officers in Victorville seized 10 oz of meth, 100 grams of black tar heroin, and over $2,000 in cash during a probation check.

The street value of the narcotics seized was approximately $18,000.00; specifically, $10,000 worth of tar heroin and $8,000 in methamphetamine.

On Thursday, June 29, 2017 three probation officers conducted a routine probation compliance check at the residence of 33-year-old Manuel Martinez Jr., in the 12000 block of Del Amo Way.

Martinez Jr., was being supervised on formal probation following a conviction for Possession of a Controlled Substance for Sale, H&S 11378.

One of the three probation officers was still in the department’s Field Training Officer program.

At the initial contact at the home, two other individuals who resided with Martinez or were visiting in the home took an excessively long period of time to answer the door. One them looked outside through a front window and then continued to delay opening the door. This aroused the suspicion of the officers and prompted them to handcuff the two individuals present, neither of whom were Martinez.

The probation officer trainee then took control of the scene, determined which bedroom was occupied by Martinez, and conducted a search of the bedroom. During this search, he discovered a single sandwich bag containing approximately 10 ounces of methamphetamine in four large rocks. Scales and packaging material to cut, weigh, and sell the rocks of methamphetamine were also discovered.

About an hour later, the offender, Manuel Martinez entered the residence through the garage. He was immediately detained. A search of his person revealed $2,176.00 in currency. Martinez claimed to have returned to the residence on foot; however, he was also found to possess an automobile key belonging to a rental car company.

Using the alarm/panic button on the key, the probation officers found the car parked several residences away. As this was highly suspicious, the officers then determined to search the vehicle. This search resulted in the discovery of 100 grams of black tar heroin concealed in the vehicle.

The San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department, Victorville Station, was then summoned to the scene to assist officers with processing the new criminal case due to the significant volume of narcotics found, and the indication that there was major drug trafficking involved.

Manuel Martinez was arrested for a violation of H&S 11378 and H&S 11351; possession for sale of controlled substances; and a violation of his probation. The other two subjects were juveniles, and in the protracted investigation, it appeared they didn’t have knowledge of the narcotics present in the home.

“This was a notable drug seizure largely because of the significant volume of narcotics and cash discovered but also because both tar heroin and methamphetamine were found and both were found in a quantity that clearly indicated the intent to sell,” stated Chris Condon Division Director with SB County Probation.

“It was also an unusual twist that the probation officer who initially discovered the narcotics and led the investigation was a trainee and this find was a testament to the quality of training that officers get through our FTO program. Many probation officers work their entire careers, and unless they are assigned to a narcotics related position, may never see this volume of methamphetamine and heroin,” said Condon.

Chief Probation Officer Michelle Scray Brown made a statement saying she “was proud of the probation officers, and particular the trainee probation officer who discovered the narcotics. This arrest and drug seizure illustrates the professional dichotomy present in the San Bernardino County Probation Department- we have the best treatment services available for the addicted offender, and the most vigilant supervision programs to protect the community from the drug trafficking offender.”

About the Field Officer Training Program: This program is an approximately three-month long program for probation officers who have graduated from basic training program. They rotate through a number of training officers and assignments to learn while experiencing all facets of probation work. One component of the program allows the trainee, under the direct guidance of the training officer, to be the “case agent” at a home compliance check- even though the actual case may be assigned to another officer. In this instance, the trainee would take the lead in searching or contacting the offender in the home.

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