Weapon Recovered, Drugs Found During Wednesday Warrant Service

The Foothills Special Enforcement Team raided a house in the 700 block of South Pasadena Avenue, related to the stolen truck from Azusa March 16. Photo by Zak Bushey.

Detectives are still processing information and evidence gathered during a warrant service from Wednesday in the 700 block of South Pasadena Avenue.

Police found methamphetamine, stolen mail from eight Azusa residents and recovered a weapon inside the home, which police had been developing information on prior to the pursuit of a stolen truck connected to the warrant service.

Drug paraphernalia was also recovered. What type of weapon and whether it was stolen was not revealed, pending further investigation. Detectives were in the beginning stages of developing information that the house was known for harboring criminal activity, said Captain Joe Ward of Glendora Police.

Based on the level of criminal activity believed to be taking place, the Foothills Special Enforcement Team was deployed. Before the warrant was served, two people were detained while leaving the home. SWAT officers identified seven more inside. Two occupants were uncooperative with officers and tried to flee.

Another occupant refused to comply before being detained.

“[He] put his hands in his pockets multiple times and while SWAT team officers had guns pointed at him, he was flashing gang signs,” Ward said. That same man fled into a bedroom at one point.

Based on initial information and behavior the occupants displayed, detectives believe the subjects are likely associated with an Azusa street gang, Ward said.

Two females arrived to the home while the home was being cleared by FSET and were also detained. One of those females was reportedly in possession of several ounces of methamphetamine and was arrested, Ward said.

The house where the warrant was served is in the process of being sold. It is still unclear who was an actual resident of the home. At least one of the subjects arrested is possibly a partial owner, Ward said.

“That was an unusually high number of people in the house,” Ward said. “When we use our tactical teams, it has to meet certain criteria. Mainly the criteria could be multiple suspects, suspects being armed,” adding that FSET members displayed great restraint in preventing an officer-involved shooting.

Altogether, 12 people were eventually arrested:

  • Joseph Franklin, 37, from Glendora. He was booked on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine, transporting methamphetamine for sale and possession of drug paraphernalia. He is being held in lieu of $30,000 bail.
  • Ruben Rosas, 36, from Azusa. He was booked on suspicion of false impersonation and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He is being held without bail.
  • Christian Castaneda, 22, from Azusa. He was booked on suspicion of felony reckless evading, possession of drug paraphernalia, identity theft, unlawful taking of a vehicle and possession of methamphetamine. He is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.
  • Robert Montoya, 19, from Azusa. Montoya was booked on suspicion of identity theft and vehicle theft, but was released on insufficient grounds to file charges.
  • Daniel Moses, 29, from Azusa. He was booked for outstanding warrants relating to petty theft and possession of methamphetamine. bail amount information was not readily available.
  • Crystal Mcelhaney, 31, from Monrovia. She was booked on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine, possessing drug paraphernalia and was booked on multiple warrants for drug offenses. She is being held in lieu of $217,000 bail.
  • Nora Valenzuela, 41, from Azusa. She was booked on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance. She was issued a citation and released.
  • Andrea Valencia, 33, from Covina. She was booked on suspicion of transporting or selling methamphetamine. Valencia posted $30,000 bail.
  • Nicole Mascarenas, 29, from Azusa. Mascarenas was booked on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine and has since been released.
  • Darla Abriel, 29, from Glendora. She was booked on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine. She is being held in lieu of $30,000 bail.
  • Michael Ybarra, 37, from Glendora. Ybarra was booked on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine and was eventually released.
  • Denise Martinez, 36, from Victorville. She was booked on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine. No other booking information is available.

*This story was updated to include more detailed booking information, courtesy of Glendora Police.

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