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Agents Bust Methamphetamine Lab Valued at $7.2 Million

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Meth arrest
Courtesy of Department of Justice

Courtesy of Department of Justice

HINKLEY:(VVNG.com)– On Monday June 2nd 2014, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced the arrest of two individuals suspected of operating a methamphetamine conversion lab in San Bernardino County.

Agents with a California Department of Justice task force and detectives with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department seized a total of 206 lbs. of crystal methamphetamine and 250 gallons of liquid methamphetamine, which is capable of producing 1,250 lbs. of crystal methamphetamine. The street value of the methamphetamine seized is estimated at $7.2 million.

“Methamphetamine is one of the most toxic drugs available, destroying the bodies and minds of countless people,” Attorney General Harris said. “California is the national epicenter of its trafficking and distribution, so I have made it a priority of the California Department of Justice’s task forces to stop those who would sell and manufacture this debilitating drug. This bust significantly reduces the amount of methamphetamine on our streets, and I thank the agents and partners who worked collaboratively to seize these drugs.”

Agents and detectives arrested Jorge Valdez, 34, and Miguel Angel Sanchez, 24, of Hinkley. Both were booked at the San Bernardino County Jail and are currently being held on $1,000,000 bail each. Both are charged with two felony counts each for the manufacture and possession for sale of methamphetamine and are being prosecuted by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office.

“I stand with my law enforcement counterparts with an unwavering commitment to stop the manufacturing and dealing of narcotics in San Bernardino County,” San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said. “Drug use undermines traditional values and it is our responsibility to put an end to it.”

“Thanks to the extensive work of the Attorney General’s task force and our Sheriff’s Department, we were able to prevent a significant amount of the destructive drug, methamphetamine, from making it to our streets,” San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos said. “We look forward to prosecuting these individuals to the fullest extent of the law and sending the message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated in San Bernardino County.”

An investigation headed by a California Department of Justice task force led agents to a residence at 37767 Mountain View Road in the city of Hinkley in Santa Bernardino County, which they believed contained a methamphetamine conversion lab. On Wednesday, May 28, agents obtained a search warrant for the residence and discovered a methamphetamine conversion lab onsite. Inside, law enforcement personnel arrested Valdez and Sanchez, seized 206 lbs. of crystal methamphetamine, and approximately 250 gallons of liquid methamphetamine, which is capable of producing 1,250 lbs. of crystal methamphetamine.

Attorney General Harris is currently working with the state legislature to secure funding for Department of Justice task forces and special operations units that specialize in anti-narcotics investigations.

Agencies that participated in this operation include: The California Department of Justice, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol and Homeland Security Investigations.

A March 2014 report issued by Attorney General Harris called the trafficking of methamphetamine a growing threat to the state and a top priority for law enforcement. The report, Gangs Beyond Borders: California and the Fight Against Transnational Organized Crime, is the first comprehensive report analyzing the current state of transnational criminal organizations in California and the threats they pose to the state’s public safety and economy. The report also outlined recommendations to address this problem, which include increased funding for state anti-narcotics trafficking task forces and additional coordination between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in combatting transnational criminal organizations.

The report is available here: https://oag.ca.gov/transnational-organized-crime.

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Helicopter lands on Amethyst Road for woman involved in crash

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VICTORVILLE, Calif. (VVNG.com) A woman was airlifted with critical injuries following a crash late Friday night.

At 11:30 p.m., the Victorville Fire Department, deputies from the Victorville Police Department, and two American Medical Response (AMR) ambulances were dispatched to the intersection of Amethyst and La Mesa Roads for reports of a head-on crash.

– Photo Credit: Travis Dixon.

Upon arrival, firefighters located two vehicles with major damage; a gray 2018 Toyota Camry and a dark-colored sedan with a woman still trapped inside.

Firefighters extricated the woman from the vehicle and requested a helicopter to land near the scene to transport her to a trauma center.

The Camry sustained major front-end damage. – Photo credit: Travis Dixon.

The driver of the Camry, Jaalen “Jay” Thompson, told Victor Valley News that he was traveling westbound on La Mesa Road on a green light when he was struck by the dark sedan that was traveling southbound on Amethyst Road.

Although Thompson did not sustain major injuries, his girlfriend who is pregnant was taken to a local hospital for an evaluation.

“The dark colored sedan ran the red light and smacked my car,” Thompson stated, “She was also pregnant.”

The intersection was closed while authorities investigated the crash.

The cause of the crash is unknown at this time. – Photo Credit: Julio Solano.

As of 12:30 a.m. Saturday, the intersection was reopened.

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State and San Bernardino County OK resumption of youth sports – with restrictions

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SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — The State Department of Public Health has issued long-anticipated guidance allowing youth sports and physical education – including school-based, club, and recreational programs – to resume, as long as they are limited to groups of participants who regularly gather, such as a class or organized team, and only when physical distancing of at least six feet can be maintained.

Activities should take place outside to the maximum extent possible.

Sporting events, assemblies, and other activities that require close contact or that would promote congregating, such as tournaments and competitions, are not yet permitted either indoors or outdoors.

“This is an opportunity for young people to stay healthy, stay in shape, and be ready when the State allows team and other group activities to resume,” said San Bernardino County Public Health Director Corwin Porter. The County Health Officer has approved implementation of the guidance within San Bernardino County.

(San Bernardino County Health news release)

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18-year-old U.S. Army Reservist Stationed at Ft. Irwin arrested on child porn charges

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FORT IRWIN, Calif. (VVNG.com) — An 18-year-old reserve with the United States Army National Guard stationed at Fort Irwin was arrested for possession of child pornography Wednesday, officials said.

Detectives from multiple agencies conducted a joint investigation involving the suspect, Neal McCoy, a resident of Fridley, Minnesota, and subsequently arrested him on Wednesday, August 5, 2020.

McCoy was booked at the High Desert Detention Center for PC 311.11(A) Possession of Child Pornography with a bail set at $100,000. McCoy is scheduled for arraignment on August 7th.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Specialized Investigations Division Crimes Against Children Detail (CAC), Barstow Sheriff’s Station, and the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) worked together in their investigation.

In January 2020, VVNG reported on similar arrests after Steven Berg, 38, was arrested by investigators who determined that child pornography was distributed from a home within the base at Fort Irwin.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Detective Brian Arias of the Specialized Investigations Division, Crimes Against Children Detail at (909) 387-3615. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip Hotline at www.wetip.com.

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