By Evan Chu
Woodland – After the preliminary hearing in Department 13, the judge found sufficient evidence to hold Marcus Tafoya over for trial on multiple charges, including car theft and possession of controlled substances.
Mr. Tafoya was accused of stealing a vehicle on July 25, 2019. He was stopped by police officers two days later, the police officers also finding a white powder that they identified to be methamphetamine, and a glass pipe.
According to Officer Parveen Lal, he was on patrol and handling an unrelated case on North Street in Woodland when he saw the stolen car pass by. He said that he recognized the vehicle to be the stolen car because he remembered seeing the car’s information on the board before he left for his shift that day. He also testified that the driver was indeed the defendant Mr. Tafoya.
When asked about the drugs, the officer explained that the drugs were found on the driver’s seat and, despite the officer finding powder and a pipe, Mr. Tafoya claimed that the items weren’t his. As a matter of fact, the officer mentioned that when the defendant was pulled over, a female passenger was also present in the vehicle. When asked about her identity, the officer stated that she was homeless and had only asked for a ride from Mr. Tafoya. Officer Lal said that they ran a warrant search on the woman and found nothing, so they released her not long afterward.
The officer stated that the defendant and his passenger were asked to put their hands in the air when they were pulled over. Even though Mr. Tafoya was asked to step out of the vehicle first, the passenger had no chance to put the drugs on the driver’s seat because the officers were constantly keeping their eyes on the hands of both individuals.
The court has the arraignment currently set for Oct. 11, 2019, at 10 a.m.