Tuesday, 18 June 2024

REGIONAL: Hopland man arrested for drugs, gun theft

HOPLAND – A Hopland man was arrested last Saturday for allegedly stealing a weapon and being found in possession of the drug Ecstacy.

James P. Whetstone, 19, was arrested for grand theft, possession of a controlled substance for sale and transportation of a controlled substance, according to a report from Capt. Kurt Smallcomb of the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.

At 8:40 p.m. last Saturday Mendocino County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to investigate the theft of a handgun. Smallcomb said 58-year-old James A. Whetstone of Hopland reported that his son had stolen his .45-caliber handgun from their home on Mountain House Road.

The elder Whetstone told the 911 dispatcher that his son's behavior had been erratic and that his son had slept very little in recent days, according to Smallcomb. Whetstone was concerned that his son was under the influence of drugs while armed with the handgun.

The 19-year-old had driven away in his father's Mercedes, and a description of the suspect and his vehicle were broadcast via police radio, Smallcomb said.

Officers from the Hopland Tribal Police intercepted the vehicle on Highway 175 near the entrance to the reservation and detained the suspect. Smallcomb said officers from the California Highway Patrol also responded to assist.

A search of the car revealed 50 suspected methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) tablets hidden in a panel in the trunk of the car. Smallcomb said MDMA is most commonly known as “Ecstacy,” a controlled substance with stimulant and psychoactive properties.

The younger Whetstone then led deputies to the stolen .45-caliber firearm. He was subsequently arrested and lodged in the Mendocino County Jail, Smallcomb said.

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