Sonoma police beat: A search and then a seizure

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Jan. 10: A Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy was on patrol Jan. 10 when at about 10:45 p.m. he pulled over a small sedan on El Verano Avenue due to an expired registration. The driver of the vehicle allowed the deputy to search the car, which in retrospect may not have been a good idea.

Inside the car, the deputy located drug paraphernalia, packaging and a “crystal-like substance” that led the deputy to believe the material was destined for sale. The driver, 55-year-old Chuck L. Bauer, was arrested and booked on two felony charges, possession of a controlled substance for sale and transport of a controlled substance. Possession of 14.25 grams or more of a controlled substance can lead to a felony charge. Bauer remains in custody, with his first court date set for Jan. 28.

Jan. 13: At about 1 a.m., a Sonoma Police officer doing a bar check at Steiner’s Tavern on the Plaza recognized a subject who he knew to be on probation, with a condition to stay out of places where alcohol was served. The subject attempted to elude the officer by leaving through a side door, but the officer went around to the alley and located the subject, confirmed his probation status and upon searching him found a small baggy with white powdery substance, which the police report characterized as “alleged cocaine.”

The subject, Mark J. Shipston, a 21-year-old of El Verano, was arrested and, since the terms of his probation included the right to search his person and residence, was taken to his home which was then searched. The officer discovered a large additional supply of the powdery substance, as well as substantial currency, a scale and packaging material.

Shipston was arrested on several felony charges of possession for sale, transport for sale and violation of probation, and taken to county jail. Because his arrest was for a felony probation violation, he remains in custody, with his first court date set for Jan. 29.

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