Officers make 3 drug busts

By Anthony Skeens, The Triplicate April 01, 2013 01:34 pm

It has been a busy week for officers making meth-related busts.

Early Wednesday, sheriff’s Deputy Richard Donaldson pulled a car over in the Bertsch Tract for a traffic violation and then contacted Crescent City Police Officer Aaron King to deploy his police dog, which alerted authorities to drugs, said sheriff’s Deputy Richard Griffin.

During a search of the vehicle, Donaldson located a half-ounce of methamphetamine sorted in various baggies placed in a paper envelope in the front of the car, said Griffin, who was called to the scene.

Griffin said he then found more baggies carrying a total of three ounces of meth placed in a McDonald’s kids meal box in the back of the vehicle. In addition there was a scale, a tablespoon with what is suspected to be meth residue, 500 unused baggies, three cell phones and a pile of handouts entitled “Adopt the Ten Habits of Highly Successful Criminals,” he said.

The driver was 67-year-old Klamath resident Maja R. Nicol, who was arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance, transportation of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance for sale.


“Maja is very good at what she does,” said Griffin, who said he has been aware of her since he joined the Sheriff’s Office seven years ago.

“This is a huge bust for our county,” said Griffin. “We have some large suppliers and dealers in the county and she’s definitely up there in the food chain.”

Nicol did not speak with authorities after she was placed under arrest; apparently following the first “habit” listed on her handout by invoking her right to silence.

Nicol was last arrested in 2008 when Crescent City Police Officers served a search warrant on a home on West Essex that revealed meth pipes, syringes, meth-baggies, digital scales, firearms, throwing stars and swords. She was one of the people in the house arrested on suspicion of possession of meth for sale and willful cruelty to a child, but the District Attorney’s Office never filed charges.

In an unrelated case, on Tuesday, the Del Norte Sheriff’s Office Felony Investigations Unit served a search warrant on an apartment located at 181 Cooke St. where 24-year-old Sean E. Brancato resides, Griffin said.

They found scales, a police scanner, a small amount of meth and about 50 meth pipes that Brancato is suspected of making, Griffin said.

The amount of meth pipes found is “indicative of multiple people using in the house,” said Griffin.

Brancato was arrested on suspicion of maintaining a place to use a controlled substance, possessing a controlled substance and possessing paraphernalia.

And on Monday evening, the Crescent City Police Department received a call about a male leaving Rite Aid with a bottle of alcohol. 

Griffin, assisting with the search, said he found Allen R. Bates in his vehicle in the Raliberto’s Taco Shop parking lot.

Bates consented to a search of his truck, where Griffin said he found hash, Ecstasy and other pills and also found 23 grams of meth and a scale in a backpack in the bed of the truck.

Bates was arrested on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance and possessing a controlled substance for sale.

“(These arrests) show great partnership between multiple agencies and patrol,” said Griffin.

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