By Delilah Hammons
WOODLAND, CA – Christopher Cardenas had a preliminary hearing here last week in Yolo County Superior Court for three different felony cases, and three officers testified about the three different days on which he was arrested.
In the first case, Cardenas was allegedly seen taking a drum set from someone’s shed. In the second and third cases, he was charged with possession of illegal substances with intent to sell.
More than $90,050 of property was taken that night, the court was told.
Peace Officer Yohan Song was involved with both the first and the second case, and told the court Cardenas was found with one other person by the owner of the shed and confronted. The two claimed they had been asked to come and move the property, when no permission was given.
The property owner was able to get a picture of the license plate and another picture of Cardenas and the other person.
Officer Song explained that the second arrest happened when he “was enroute to a call regarding a suspicious vehicle at Wild Wings, while enroute to that call I observed the vehicle that was described in the call passing me headed eastbound down towards Woodland.”
Song added, “I caught a glimpse of the driver who resembled someone I had possibly seen before. I turned around to follow the vehicle, it made a northbound turn onto a private driveway, made several maneuvers on the property before making a U-turn to attempt to get back on the roadway. I saw the driver’s face and immediately recognized him to be Christopher Cardenas.”
At this point, the officer testified, Cardenas started to run on foot away from the car (and) did not stop until Officer Song threatened to use his taser, the officer said, adding the chase lasted for approximately 10 minutes.
Officer Song searched the vehicle for narcotics, and Officer Gary Richter had arrived and was helping to search the vehicle. In a blue bag the officers said they found more than 63 grams of methamphetamine, 43 grams of heroin and what they thought was fentanyl and a black scale.
Also allegedly found in the vehicle were a few different bags of mushrooms, along with an ice chest that had three or four cell phones that were turned off, ID card, and marijuana. Officers said Cardenas also had less than $100 cash on him.
Officer Richter explained that “as I’m working through these bags and maneuvering and maintaining them and setting them across the hood I noticed I started getting faint, my lips and face began going numb, I started to become lightheaded, and then my respiration started to pick up a little bit.
The officer added, “Through my training and experience I know that these are signs of a possible overdose [of fentanyl]. I stepped away from the vehicle and moved back towards another patrol vehicle. Just to gain my footing and steps. At that time I told Deputy Song, one of the other deputies on scene, to be careful with it, package it back up, to no longer manipulate it as I didn’t want anyone else to get hurt or sick.”
All of the narcotics were packaged back up and sent to the Department of Justice. During the time of weighing and handling these narcotics one of the CSI’s started to feel dizzy, lightheaded and sick. After talking with Officer Richter on the phone she called for help and they came to her house.
Rescuers stated that they believe it was an overdose of fentanyl, but not enough to go to the hospital. The defense lawyer tried to explain this as something that could have happened before, but Officer Richter assured that this has never happened to him or the CSI before.
Officer Richter believes that because of the amount of narcotics and the scales that this was possession with intent to sell.
The third case was also a possession with the intent to sell, based on the amount of narcotics Cardenas had in his car, along with a digital scale, and $5,674 cash. At this time Cardenas was unemployed and only collecting unemployment.