Police nab 2 in major meth bust

December 30, 2006 12:00 am

By Karen Wilkinson

Triplicate staff writer

Two men were arrested Wednesday after Crescent City police found nearly $15,000 worth of in one's vehicle — one of the biggest drug busts in the department's recent history.

Guadelupe Barragan, of Sacramento, and Felipe Moreno, of Mexico, were arrested for possession of a controlled substance, possession for sale, and transportation for sale, said Crescent City acting police chief Garrett Scott.

About 146.8 grams, or more than 5 ounces of crystal meth, was found after an officer called for backup and the K-9 unit to investigate, after noticing suspicious behavior among the men, Smith said.

Barragan and Moreno remain in Del Norte County Jail, awaiting their initial hearing in Del Norte Superior Court.

"We want our drug dealers and users out there to know we're not going to let down," Scott said. "We're going to continue our enforcement of drug activity and do everything to combat it."

Officer Bob Barber responded to 1497 Gainard St. to investigate a call of a reckless motorcycle rider around 2:30 p.m.

After arriving, Barber realized Barragan, 35, had been driving on a suspended license.

Barragan told police he was looking to purchase the motorcycle of the home's resident, Michael Amos Jr., which Amos confirmed.

Amos, 42, said one of the men wanted to take the bike for a test drive around the block.

After speaking with all three, Barber noticed they were acting "nervous and suspiciously."

Barber "felt there was more to the situation than a motorcycle being sold," Scott said.

Once K9 Zeus arrived, the dog found the drugs in Barragan's pickup truck, Scott said.

The backpack that Zeus found, which Scott said belonged to both Barragan and Moreno, 37, contained the meth. The majority was packaged in baggies for individual sale, Scott said.

Zeus then searched Amos' home but located nothing. Amos wasn't arrested, though the police are still looking at him as a possible suspect.

Barragan also was charged with driving on a suspended license.

District Attorney Mike Riese said his office is reviewing the case for charging. "We're on top of it," he said.

Make big drug arrests oftentimes is very difficult, Scott said.

"These are not easy cases, (but) they're the ones bringing in the large amounts," he said, noting it's more effective to go after the large amounts before it's dispersed through the community in smaller amounts.

"No matter what our staffing issues are, that is still our top priority — meth," Scott said.