From the desk of EPD Interim Chief Murl Harpham himself:
On 12/21/2011, at approximately 1430 hours, Officers from the Eureka Police Department Problem Oriented Policing (POP) unit arrested Ubaldo MENDEZ, for H&S 11351, possession for sale of a controlled narcotic substance (heroin) and H&S 11352, transportation of a narcotic controlled substance (heroin). The EPD officers seized an ounce of heroin from the console of the vehicle. The arrest took place at the Bear River Casino gas station/mini mart in Loleta, CA .
The EPD P.O.P. Unit learned that street level heroin traffickers from Eureka were traveling to the Bear River Casino minimart/gas station to meet their connection and purchase ounce quantities of heroin. The name provided for the heroin connection was “Shorty”.
A P.O.P Detective called the cell phone number of the suspected heroin trafficker, “Shorty”. The Detective used a common first name to identify himself and ordered heroin. The subject answering the cell phone (“Shorty”) told the Detective to go to the Loleta Casino gas station and call back after he was at the gas station.
A short time later the EPD Detective called back and told the person (“Shorty”) that he was at the gas station. The person answering the cell phone (“Shorty”) told him his runner would be there in ten minutes.
An EPD P.O.P. Detective, in plain clothes, was in the parking lot waiting, but did not initially see the “runner” arrive. “Shorty” called the EPD Detective back to check on why he had not contacted the “runner”. “Shorty” told the EPD Detective that his runner was in the parking lot and driving a white SUV. The undercover (U/C) EPD Detective in the mini mart/gas station parking lot checked the parking lot and only saw one SUV, a white Ford Expedition.
The U/C EPD Detective in the parking lot drove past the white Ford Explorer, making eye contact with the driver, and parked approximately three (3) parking spaces away. The driver got out of the white Ford Expedition as the U/C EPD Detective got out of his vehicle. The U/C EPD Detective made eye contact with the driver of the Ford Expedition again, as the driver got back into the SUV.
The U/C Detective displayed his police badge and approached the “runner” in the driver’s seat of the SUV as a POP vehicle blocked it from the rear. Another POP Detective approached the “runner” from the passenger side and the driver, later identified as MENDEZ was arrested without incident. The ounce of heroin was in the cupholder on the console.
The vehicle was searched and no other controlled substances were located. The suspect (MENDEZ) had more than $700.00 cash on his person and an un-cashed paycheck from a Ferndale Dairy.
Suspect, Ubaldo MENDEZ, was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked and lodged. The suspect was determined to be in the United States illegally and had been previously deported.