Police: Suspicious baggie leads to trial date

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On Thursday, Jan. 24, shortly after 1 p.m. deputies from the Sonoma Police Department responded to a call from Friedman’s Home Improvement on Broadway about a suspicious customer who was taking things off the shelf and not returning them, and who attempted to leave the store.

Officers contacted Jenny Leah Haspod, 29, who had a warrant out for her arrest for a misdemeanor charge. She was arrested for attempted misdemeanor shoplifting when the officer found a Dremel tool and glass cutter, total value of $54.58. She was booked at county jail.

At about 8 p.m. that evening, at Riverside Drive and Boyes Boulevard, a deputy on routine patrol saw a small sedan that he was familiar with from prior encounters. The deputy approached the parked vehicle, illuminated the interior and recognized the man in the driver’s seat as Rosendo Antonio Farias-Torres, 35, who he knew to be on probation. A female passenger was also in the vehicle.

Farias-Torres was asked to step from the vehicle and submitted to a probation search, and some $800 in cash was discovered on his person.

During the following search of the vehicle, a corner of a plastic bag was observed protruding from a closed center console. The bag, knotted at one end, contained a large amount of a white crystalline substance the deputy recognized as methamphetamine.

Under the bag, in the same compartment, were discovered two digital gram scales with traces of a white crystalline substance on the weight platforms.

Also found was a Ziploc bag consistent with narcotic packaging, and at the bottom of the compartment a used methamphetamine glass pipe, with a burnt bulbous end and white crystalline residue crushed into the bowl and the stem.

The suspect said that the methamphetamine was not his, though it was his vehicle. The female was released from the scene.

Torres was taken to the Sonoma Valley substation for pre-booking and then to county jail, where he is being held on $70,000 bail.

At around 9 p.m. that same eventful day, Jan. 24, a deputy patrolling in the Springs checked on a house in the 18000 block of First Avenue near West Thompson that had been condemned, having heard rumors that people were still living there. He found four people inside, several of them known to the deputy from previous law enforcement contacts.

Two of them were on probation – Renee Ruth Fitzhugh, 34, and Erick M. Whedon, 37. Fitzhugh also had an active warrant out for her arrest; she was taken to county jail. Despite his probation status, Whedon as well as Michael G. Brown, 57, and Andrew D. Garcia, 30, were all cited for violation of a municipal code statute that forbids entering a condemned house, and released.

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