Napa Police Blotter: Drugs, DUI Arrests

Arrest information from the City of Napa Police Department does not indicate convictions.

A couple was busted on drug charges after a Napa police officer stopped the car they were riding in for possible vehicle code violations, according to an arrest summary from the City of Napa Police Department.

Around 4 p.m., Wednesday, the officer pulled over the vehicle on West Imola Avenue and Highway 29.

The driver, Ryan Hofman, 18, a transient, is on probation and wanted on a outstanding Sonoma County warrant, police said.

Hofman’s probation terms mandate he must submit to search and seizure.

Lexy Ann Wetterling, 21, a transient, was a passenger in the car. She consented to let the officer search her purse, where he found methamphetamine, according to police.

A search of the vehicle also uncovered more meth, police said.

Hofman and Wetterling both claimed to possessing the drug and knowledge that the meth was in her purse, police said.

The pair was arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance and booked into the Napa County Department of Corrections.

Police took Timothy Cheshire into custody Wednesday after they found him inside a residence in the 100 block of Golden Gate Drive, according to an arrest summary.

The current resident had moved out and left some of his belongings and valuables inside the home, police said.

Cheshire, who is on probation, was found to be in possession of a glass smoking pipe and burnt residue used for smoking controlled substances, police said.

Cheshire, 35, of Napa, was arrested on suspicion of drug charges and burglary (entering the home) and booked into the NCDC.

Manuel Ochoa was taken into custody after police stopped the vehicle he was driving for a code violation, according to an arrest summary.

After the officer stopped Ochoa’s vehicle around 11 p.m. Sunday in the 1100 block of Trancas Avenue, he noticed Ochoa showed signs of being under the influence of alcohol, according to the summary.

Ochoa was evaluated by the officer and determined to be DUI, police said.

Ochoa is on probation for a prior DUI and was also arrested on suspicion of driving on a suspended drivers license. He was booked into the NCDC.

On Nov. 30, two Napa men were arrested on suspicion of drug charges after police discovered them in the Pearl Street Garage trying to get out of the rain, according to an arrest summary.

The men, Jacob Foux, 20, and Chad Pallett, 36, of Napa are both on probation with search and seizure terms, police said.

Upon searching them, officers found a meth pipe with a usable amount of the drug in the pipe on Foux, police said, adding, Pallett possessed a bottle of liquor, which is a violation of his probation terms to abstain from the use of alcohol, the press release said.

Foux was arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia and booked into NCDC.

A report will be filed with the district attorney’s office seeking a complaint against Pallett, police added.

Also on Nov. 30, police stopped Manuel Alvarez, 32, of Napa on a vehicle code violation on Solano Avenue, near Lincoln Avenue, the press release said

While talking to Alvarez, the officer said he showed signs of being under the influence of a controlled substance, police said.

After evaluating Alvarez’s condition, the officer determined him to being under the influence of drugs, the press release said.

The officer also found Alvarez to be in possession of a small amount of methamphetamine and a glass smoking pipe, police said.

Alvarez was arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia, under the influence of meth and violation of probation.

He was booked into the NCDC.

Arrest information does not indicate convictions. For the latest reports on crime and arrests in the Napa Valley, please see our Police & Fire section, available from the News tab above and at napavalley.patch.com/police-fire.

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Unfiltered Steve Simoneau December 07, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Anyone else find it odd that a person not on probation who knows they have a controlled substance in their purse/pocket would consent to let a police officer search them? Drug users tend to be secretive, misleading, and often paranoid when under the influence and unlikely to let anyone search through their belongings. I think there's more to the story, as always.
Belle (Orchid Lady) December 07, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Steve, most people don't know their Rights. When a person doesn't give consent to search, the police often switch to intimidation tactics. The one I've heard is most popular, is "if you don't consent, then I will just bring you in, and if you do have drugs, you will get an added felony for bring drugs in to a corrections facility". I suppose even a drug user would prefer a simple possession charge, and not understanding their rights would give consent.
Unfiltered Steve Simoneau December 07, 2012 at 09:32 PM
Belle, the law always favors the police officer for obvious reasons of safety. Another tactic used is to say "I'm JUST going to pat you down for any weapons for my safety and yours." This usually causes a person to allow an officer to frisk them, generating questions such as "What's that I feel in your pocket? Will you please show it to me?" If a person refuses to be frisked for weapons the officer often feels challenged and threatens to charge them with resisting arrest. A charge of resisting arrest can be generated with something as simply as saying "No." when an officer directs a person to do something. Knowing your rights is vastly important in dealing with our militarized police.
Jerome Knutson December 07, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Greetings Steve, Check out the court decisions on Probation searches in a vehicle. The area of the vehicle that was accessible to the probationer is fair game for the cops. Also, what is militarized police? Police have more powers than the military when dealing with citizens. Police in this country have always been quasi military. I enjoy reading your blogs. I also agree with you questioning authority. Keep it up. Jerry
Dan Monez December 07, 2012 at 10:24 PM
"Militarized police"?? What the heck does that mean? As Jerome correctly points out, the police have always been a para-military organization since the days civilian policing was conceived by Sir Robert Peel in 1829.
Scott Yeager December 08, 2012 at 12:17 AM
"Militarized police"?? What the heck does that mean?" It's pretty simple. It means, the look, equipment and tactics of our police department. Since I have been around for more than a few years I remember what the police looked and acted like before the last decade. Now, am I supposed to not have a memory or am I just supposed to be ignorant about what is happening with police departments around our country? http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/11/how-the-war-on-terror-has-militarized-the-police/248047/ http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/04/sunday-review/have-american-police-become-militarized.html?pagewanted=all http://www.forbes.com/sites/bradlockwood/2011/11/30/the-militarizing-of-local-police/ http://www.cato.org/publications/white-paper/overkill-rise-paramilitary-police-raids-america http://www.salon.com/2011/11/08/our_militarized_police_forces/ http://www.google.com/search?q=police+militarization&start=10&hl=en&sa=N&tbo=u&rlz=1W1GGLR_enUS312&site=webhp&tbm=isch&source=univ&ei=koPCUIHdOIaZiAKV84G4DA&ved=0CFEQsAQ4Cg&biw=1280&bih=556
Unfiltered Steve Simoneau December 08, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Thanks Scott, that pretty much covers it.
Scott Yeager December 08, 2012 at 12:45 AM
One would hope, but I am sure it won't.
Jerome Knutson December 08, 2012 at 03:33 AM
Scott, Equipment and tactics? I am very happy that the police have better equipment and tactics that have evolved over the last 40 to 50 years. I know for a fact that 40+ years ago we did not have the violent gangs in numbers that we have today. Years ago we had the Mafia, that mainly killed one another. Today we have an unbelievable number of gangs and domestic recent immigrant gangs and terrorists who want to harm our citizens and our system of government. Be thankful that our local police are updating their tactics and equipment to protect us. Scott, Salon.com?????????? Steve, stop by I will pour us a glass. Merry Christmas
Belle (Orchid Lady) December 08, 2012 at 03:41 AM
Yes Steve, I completely agree response that was addressed to me. In a recent conversation with a police officer, I was told how often this occurs as well as how officers use "profiling" and the vehicle codes, civil codes, and health and safety codes to justify their "suspicion". I'm glad that I'm not poor, too thin, poorly dressed, drive a beat up car, suffer horrible acne, or happen to ride my bicycle late in the evening. :)
Scott Yeager December 08, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Yes, Salon.com, Forbes, NY Times and the Cato Institute. So you are admitting that the police are more militarized which was my point. You believe it is justified. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2012/1018/Spike-in-assaults-leads-US-violent-crime-rate-to-first-increase-since-93 "While a double-digit jump in violent crime is significant, most criminal justice experts say that the total crime rate remains significantly lower than it was two decades ago. The survey itself notes that “crime still remains at historical low levels” and that the total rate of violent victimization dropped 72 percent since 1993. “A 17 percent increase is a pretty small rate relatively to where we were 20 years ago. That’s important to remember,” says William Pridemore, a criminal justice professor at Indiana University in Bloomington. As for whether the increase in assaults could represent a growing trend, Mr. Pridemore says “it’s way too early for scholars to know” the reasons for the uptick and that more years representing a similar reversal would be needed. The reduced crime levels since the 1990’s are giving law enforcement officials and policymakers time to develop and test strategies that are trending away from more punishment-oriented solutions to those that assess the public health factors that create violence, says Harold Pollack, co-director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab, a research organization studying gun violence at the University of Chicago."
Lorie December 08, 2012 at 04:06 PM
It's not the tactics the PD might be using to arrest and book these people what perhaps should change. It's what ultimately happens to these "criminals" once they're booked, processed and jailed (???)...and a few days later they're back out on the streets free to do it all over again, and again, and again. Isn't this process extremely expensive to the taxpayers? Addicts and drug dealers should not be 'allowed' to be repeat offenders, they are destroying a "civilized" society starting with children as young as 12 years old. Something is awfully wrong with this system. W
Dan Monez December 08, 2012 at 05:11 PM
We probably all wish we lived in Mayberry and that Sheriff Andy didn't need a gun and Deputy Barney was issued a six gun and one bullet. But the world today, yes even little Napa, is not Mayberry. Do a few ride-a-longs and you will see a different Napa and you might develop a different opinion of the police officer. It would be helpful if Scott or Steve could tell us all how they would like the police to look and what kind of equipment they should have in the 21st century?
Unfiltered Steve Simoneau December 08, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Dan, you are biased because as a police officer you were stabbed during a community event. I am biased because I have experienced the corrupted lying by police officers. We will never change each other's minds. Let's just agree to disagree and leave it at that.
Tom Davidson December 08, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Since you obviously have not been lied to by anybody other than a police officer, your viewpoint almost makes sense. Imagine what your viewpoint might be if you were stabbed by a thug with rights.
Belle (Orchid Lady) December 08, 2012 at 08:58 PM
@Lorie- I agree we need to have rehabilitation programs for drug abusers instead of locking them up though. I think that would significantly reduce recidivism rates for that type of offender. Also, we should be looking at how we classify, and punish drug dealers. Is some one who sold a small amount of marijuana the same danger to society as a meth dealer or cocaine dealer?
King Jarvis IV December 08, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Amen many times over, USS, many times over.
Lorie December 08, 2012 at 10:35 PM
I guess it will depend on where you stand as far as the dangers of Marihuana use goes. In my opinion, it's a very dangerous [recreational] drug because the kids (note: I'm very concerned about very young children having easy access to it) who are "experimenting" with it will most likely experiment with the other drugs that their 'supplier' can facilitate. And since it seems that meth is widely and easily available in Napa, there's no guarantee that just a little pot today will turn a child into a meth (or cocaine, or heroine, or whatever) addict within months of the initial "experimenting". For some children it's not a phase but "the crotch" they need right now (instant gratification). From possession to dealing (easy money to support the "recreational experiment") would take no time at all with an easily manipulated young mind. Why is it so difficult for PD to find the suppliers once you have the [doped] users and lock them up for good?
Unfiltered Steve Simoneau December 09, 2012 at 12:26 AM
Sarcasm. Nice! The bastion of those with half an argument. Don't get me wrong, Tom, Dan Monez was a benefit to the Napa community as police chief. We just have different perspectives.
MICHAEL WILSON "Republican Kid" December 09, 2012 at 02:37 AM
I moved to Napa from Detroit in 1988 I grew up under Dan Monezs NPD I have spent my share of time breaking the traffic laws of this town. I have late nights with friends at the grapeyard. I have never been harassed By NPD or NSO. I have always respected our police. Out of 6 times I have been stopped I have never got a ticket. Not all cops are bad or out to get everyone. Yes the police have changed in the last 50 yrs it is called the union
MICHAEL WILSON "Republican Kid" December 09, 2012 at 02:42 AM
Lori I am proud our local cops arrest for the small stuff. It means there doing there job. I agree the system needs change. I will pay taxes all day long to allow the police to do its job
Belle (Orchid Lady) December 09, 2012 at 09:44 PM
@Lorie, I agree that marijuana in the hands of anyone who's brain is still developing is dangerous. I only approve of marijuana as a medicinal medication, and believe it should be reclassified to allow research to be conducted in USA. For now the only research available is from other countries. Let me rephrase my question regarding marijuana to an adult selling a small amount of pot to another adult vrs an adult selling method or cocaine etc, to another adult. Do you feel that they should carry the same criminal penalty's and sentences? I don't think that a person in possession/use of pot should be treated the same as a person using method either. Locking either one away is an inefficient use of tax dollars.
Belle (Orchid Lady) December 09, 2012 at 09:45 PM
My Nexus keeps changing meth to method. Sorry.


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