CHP busts passenger for pot on U.S. 395; vows continued 'aggressive' enforcement

Highway Patrol officers arrested a 29-year-old Oceanside man this past week near Crowley Lake, taking him to the Mono County Jail on marijuana-related charges.

The man, identified by police as Ronald Ricky Moore, Jr., presented officers with a doctor's prescription for medical marijuana, but the arresting officer wrote in his report that he believed Moore "intended to make the marijuana available for sale."

Lt. R.D. Cohan, Commander of the CHP Bridgeport Area, said the bust was illustrative of “professional, aggressive law enforcement in Mono County.”

Cohan’s remarks, contained in a routine news release, came just two weeks after Mono County Sheriff Ralph Obenberger sharply defended his department’s work in handling such things as registration and licensing checkpoints from time to time.

"This is the second time in two weeks local CHP officers have made what many consider to be a routine traffic stop during the early afternoon hours on U.S. 395, which resulted in a felony drug arrest,” Cohan said in the release.

"Arrests like these demonstrate the need for professional, aggressive law enforcement in Mono County."

The CHP report indicated Moore, a passenger in the vehicle, was holding two quarter-pound, vacuum-sealed bags of pot when he was arrested.

The traffic stop, which occurred on Sunday, Dec. 22, was characterized by the CHP as a "routine traffic stop" on U.S. 395 northbound at the Crowley Lake Overpass.

Officers did not identify the driver of the car, a 2009 Chrysler 300.

Three people were in the car, according to the report, and when the officer investigated, he "immediately recognized the odor of fresh marijuana emitting from the vehicle."

Moore, the CHP said, claimed possession of the pot, "and presented a doctor's recommendation for marijuana."
"After questioning Moore, the officer determined that the amoiunt of marijuana grossly exceeded any reasonable 'medical necessity.'"

The driver of the vehicle, meanwhile, was cited for "multiple vehicle code violations" and was released.