Media outlets have reported that police in California took three men and a woman into custody at an Orange County dog boarding facility on June 6. The four suspects face a number of narcotics charges including drug possession and drug paraphernalia possession. One of the apprehended individuals is said to be the owner of the facility. Police believe that the business provides a legitimate service to pet owners in the community but was also being used to distribute heroin and methamphetamine.
Undercover Fullerton Police Department detectives who were stationed outside the West Walnut Avenue facility moved in after allegedly observing an individual with an outstanding warrant enter the premises. Reports indicate that the business was under observation as part of an ongoing narcotics investigation. Detectives say a subsequent search revealed that the man was living in the facility and led to the discovery of 1.6 grams of methamphetamine and 28 grams of heroin. Police are also said to have found several items that suggested the seized drugs were intended for sale and not personal use.
According to an FPD report, the 20 dogs that were being cared for at the time of the operation, which all appeared to be in good health, were left in the care of an employee who was not thought to be involved in the alleged drug activity. Orange County Animal Care was notified about the situation.
When presented with a set of facts like this, experienced criminal defense attorneys may question the probable cause that the search was based on. Police officers are generally required to obtain a search warrant before searching an automobile, residence or business, but they may act without one if they have good reason to believe that evidence of criminal activity will be discovered. When this cannot be established, attorneys may seek to have drug possession charges dismissed.
Source: KTLA 5, 4 Arrested in Drug Bust At Dog Boarding Facility in Fullerton, Anthony Kurzweil and Chip Yost, June 6, 2019