The purpose of searchable probation is to give violators an opportunity to redeem themselves by abstaining from illegal activity. In the eyes of the law, of course, redemption requires verification. Which is why a condition of searchable probation is that the probationer may be searched by an officer of the law at anytime and anyplace, day or night.
That condition was apparently lost on a Sonoma resident living in the Moon Valley Mobile Home Park on Manuella Lane.
When police arrived at the mobile home in question at 10:28 a.m. on Oct. 10, the probationer did not appear to be present but her boyfriend was and assured them the young woman was away. An officer explained that didn’t matter, police still had the authority and obligation to search the premises.
The boyfriend objected, saying they couldn’t do that because his girlfriend was gone.
An officer nevertheless opened the door of a storage shed some three-feet away and there, crouching on the floor, was the missing woman. Police removed her from the shed and asked why she hadn’t come out when she heard them asking about her from three feet away. She explained she hadn’t heard them because of her headphones. Police then pointed out she wasn’t wearing headphones and there were none in the shed.
While this exchange was taking place, the boyfriend attached a padlock to the door of the shed and locked it shut.
Police ordered him to open it, the girlfriend then explained she “keeps her things in there,” the boyfriend said he didn’t have a key, and the police said, “Open it.”
Once the shed was open, a quick police search turned up a glass smoking pipe coated with a white residue, a mirror with white crystal residue and a razor blade on it, some marijuana on the floor of the shed and some more in an Altoids tin, along with several prescription drug bottles labeled with the names of other people, including a woman who had died on Sept. 24. There was, in addition, a strong odor of marijuana emanating from the shed.
The woman was asked if she was under the influence of methamphetamine, and she said she had not smoked the drug since three days previous. She also said she had found the prescription drugs in a dumpster near Sassarini School.
The 27-year-old boyfriend, in exchange for locking the shed, was charged with obstructing an officer. The 29-year-old girlfriend was charged with possession of controlled substances, possession of drug paraphernalia and violation of probation. Police also filed a report to the distract attorney seeking a charge of child endangerment because the woman’s three children – ages 14, 9 and 3 – had a play area adjacent to the shed where the woman allegedly kept her drugs.
Boyfriend and girlfriend were booked into the county jail.
In other incidents reported to Valley law enforcement:
Monday, Sept. 23:
3:40 p.m. – Just standing around – on meth. Deputies were sent to the 100 block of Siesta Way on the report of a suspicious man who had just been standing there for hours. Deputies found the man was sweating profusely and their observations led them to believe he was under the influence of a controlled substance. The 32-year-old Springs resident admitted that he had been snorting crystal meth. He was arrested and charged with being under the influence of a controlled substance.