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Drug Bust Goes Public in South Napa Parking Lot: 2 Pounds of Meth Seized, 3 Arrests

Napa County drug agents used a loud, flashing "distraction device" and kept bystanders at a distance while arresting three suspects seizing two pounds of methamphetamine outside Target Tuesday morning, according to the sheriff's office.

The high-profile police action outside the south Napa Target store Tuesday morning, which sparked rumors of a shooting, was the culmination of a weeks-long investigation that resulted in three arrests and the seizure of two pounds of methamphetamine.

According to a statement from Napa County Sheriff's Captain Tracey Stuart:

During the month of October 2012, agents with the Napa Special Investigations Bureau (NSIB) conducted an investigation into three people dealing drugs in Napa County: Nicanor Silva, Aurora Marin and Fidel Hurtado. 

The investigation yielded over two (2) pounds of methamphetamine, packaging materials and drug proceeds.

The investigation culminated on October 23, 2012, at about 10:30 am, when the three (3) Sonoma county residents came to the South Napa Market Place parking lot (Soscol/Imola) for a two (2) pound drug deal. 

Out of concern for the safety of all involved and people in the area, a distraction device was utilized to safely arrest the suspects (a distraction device makes a loud noise and a bright light).

All three (3) suspects were arrested with the assistance of the Napa County Sheriff’s Office, Napa Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security.  

A search of Nicanor’s residence (an apartment at 18360 Sierra Drive in Sonoma) yielded an additional two (2) ounces of suspected methamphetamine.  

All three were arrested and booked into NCDC for possession for sale of methamphetamine and conspiracy. 

Source: Napa County Sheriff's Office. Arrest information does not indicate a conviction.

The bust caused consternation and fear among shopping center workers and customers, several of whom shared their experiences on the Napa Valley Patch Facebook page

"The flash device was fired right next to my car and I was removed from my car by the Sheriff while the drug dealers were being arrested. There was no gunfire. But, it was very scary," posted Adrienne Lane Amdahl.

To read more bystander reactions, please see Napa Police Action Sparks Shooting Rumors. Click "Keep me posted" to receive automatic updates on NSIB activities.

For the latest reports on crime and arrests, please see our Police & Fire section, available from the News tab above and at napavalley.patch.com/police-fire.

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Carlos Villatoro October 24, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Geez that's a lot of meth!
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) October 24, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Oh no, I just tried to hit the "reply" button and hit "delete" instead. I apologize to Robin (I think): Please post again; but I want to respectfully ask for clean language, as we have young people reading this site also.
Desiree October 24, 2012 at 08:26 PM
Thank u napa pd for getting the dope off the streets
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) October 24, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Hi Robi, yes, that's my feeling: We have high-school students using our site, not to mention my parents, and I hate to encourage that kind of language here. It verges on a violation of our terms of service, which forbid profanity, so I could reject the comment. But instead of being so heavy-handed, I'd prefer to encourage people to put a little more thought into the way they express themselves in our community forum.
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) October 24, 2012 at 10:01 PM
Thank goodness it's not my job to correct your grammar and spelling.
Scott Yeager October 24, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Robi - You have a right to express yourself and this site has a right to delete your comment for language. This is not a publically owned website. There isn't hardly anyone who hasn't seen the damage drugs or alcohol have done to people they know. You are not unique. Relax, take some time and write a coherent comment. It helps make your point better.
Belle (Orchid Lady) October 25, 2012 at 02:48 AM
Wow, that is a lot of meth! Good job to all the enforcement agencies involved! Thanks for putting yourselves at risk to keep our kids and communities sage!
Belle (Orchid Lady) October 25, 2012 at 02:49 AM
Sage? I really hate this Google Nexus!
Kathy Felch October 25, 2012 at 02:20 PM
I'm glad PD got these folks off the street even if for a short time, and got the meth out of our community. The Target parking lot has been well known for drug dealing for years so I hope PD keeps the pressure on.
Chris Gillespie October 26, 2012 at 11:01 PM
I'd like to know more about the crowd control device the police used. Was it a Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD)?
Unfiltered Steve Simoneau October 26, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Basic flash/bang grenade.
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) October 27, 2012 at 01:27 AM
Made with magnesium and other stuff, distraction devices, also known as concussion grenades and most descriptively (as Steve notes) flash-bangs, can be very dangerous at close range: According to this news report, a police officer in North Carolina was killed by his when it exploded while he was putting it away after work: http://www.foxcharlotte.com/news/local/Distraction-Devices-How-They-Work--Why-They-Are-Used-117034503.html

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