Sonoma police beat: Traffic stop yields paraphernalia

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Among the incidents recently reported to Sonoma Valley law enforcement:

Dec. 14: An officer was driving westbound on West Napa Street near Highway 12 in Sonoma around 10:30 p.m. when an eastbound orange Mustang veered over the double yellow line, nearly hitting the officer, sheriff’s officials said.

The officer made a U-turn and followed the Mustang, which continued to drive erratically down the highway. The officer pulled the car over, and the driver, who reeked of alcohol, refused to take a field sobriety test, according to sheriff’s officials.

A warrant was obtained for a blood sample to be taken and the results will be released to the police department after they are analyzed by State Department of Justice technicians.

The officer arrested the driver on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, and Steven Pacheco, 55, of Sonoma, was booked into the Sonoma County Jail, sheriff’s officials said.

Dec. 16: Just after midnight, an officer on patrol at Fifth Street East and Napa Road saw a man he recognized from previous law enforcement contacts, according to sheriff’s officials. The officer spoke with the man and confirmed that he was on probation with a search and seizure provision.

The officer noticed a small black handbag lying on the ground and when he looked in the bag, he discovered quite a variety of items. These included drug paraphernalia, a syringe and a small glass pipe with a bulbous end with burned white residue which, based on the officer’s experience and training, he surmised was likely methamphetamine, sheriff’s officials said.

The bag also contained a black, tar-like substance with a scent similar to vinegar, which the officer surmised was likely heroin, according to sheriff’s officials.

The suspect told the officer, who was joined by another officer for backup, that the bag belonged to him, sheriff’s officials said. Allen Whitaker, 33, a Sonoma Valley resident, was arrested on suspicion of possession of a narcotic controlled substance and other drug-related crimes, as well as violation of probation.

Reach Janis Mara at janis.mara@sonomanews.com.

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