Traffic stop finds man with three teen girls

Quick-thinking San Benito County Sheriff’s deputies have arrested a 30-year-old Salinas man on drug charges and removed three teen girls from “a potentially dangerous life-altering situation.”

Pablo Tapia

Sheriff’s Capt. Erik Taylor reported that on Thursday, March 12, Sergeant Adam Lobdell spotted a man and three young women in a vehicle on San Juan Canyon Rd near The Alameda.

Upon making contact, Taylor said Lobdell found a 30 year-old male was in the company of an 18 year-old female and two 17 year-old females.  The sergeant found evidence of open alcoholic beverage containers and the presence of a substance that tested positive for methamphetamine, said Taylor.

During his subsequent investigation the following was learned, according to Lobdell:

Pablo Tapia, a resident of Salinas, had picked up two female juveniles (also from Salinas) in the city of Salinas.  At some point, Tapia acquired alcohol and methamphetamine. The trio went to Watsonville where they picked up Jennifer Gonzalez, 18.

Jennifer Gonzalez

The four subjects then allegedly planned to go to Fremont Peak State Park to drink, do drugs and “party.”

For an unknown reason, Tapia stopped on San Juan Canyon Rd where he was spotted by Lobdell. During the course of conducting a search of Tapia’s vehicle, Lobdell found a large number of opened, partially consumed, empty and unopened beer cans and bottles. Several of the opened partially consumed beer containers had tipped over and soaked the interior. Sgt Lobdell also located, wedged under the front passenger seat, a clear plastic baggie containing suspected methamphetamine, according to Taylor.

At the conclusion of this investigation, the following arrests were made:

Pablo Tapia was arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, possession of a controlled substance, being under the influence of a controlled substance, having open containers in the vehicle and driving without a license.

Jennifer Gonzalez was arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, possession of a controlled substance, being under the influence of a controlled substance, minor in possession of alcohol, providing a false name to a peace officer and a probation violation.

The two female juveniles were arrested for being minors in possession of alcohol and possession of a controlled substance.

“It is due to the proactive police work and inquisitiveness of Sgt. Lobdell that these minor females were removed from a potentially dangerous, life-altering situation,” said Taylor.

Anyone with information on this case is urged to contact the San Benito County Sheriff’s Office, (831) 636-4080.

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