Two men were taken into custody Wednesday on suspicion of transporting illegal drugs after Merced police pulled over their car in the 500 block of M Street.
Vincent Bauman, 21, and Jeren Mills, 25, were arrested after police were dispatched to investigate a noise disturbance as a residence, according to Sgt Bobby Chapman.
Police saw a tan Mitsubishi Diamonte leave the residence. An item was hanging from the vehicle's rear view mirror that obstructed the driver's view of the road.
Police pulled over the Mitsubishi and spoke with the occupants, learning Bauman was a parolee. Police searched the car and Officer Jeremy Salyers discovered a false compartment underneath the vehicle's cup holder in the center console. Inside was a plastic bag containing 33 Vicodin and another bag of 96 unknown pills.
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Bauman and Mills were arrested. Officer Keo Sayachak searched Bauman and found a large bag inside of his right front pants pocket, containing 55 individually packaged bindles of rock cocaine, weighing 24 grams.
The suspects were booked into the Merced County Jail on suspicion of possession of illegal prescription drugs, possession for sales, transportation of a controlled substance and the use of a false compartment to conceal a controlled substance. The bag of unknown pills will be sent to a Department of Justice lab for testing.
Police are asking anyone with information about this incident to call Sgt. Scott Skinner at (209) 385-4702, or the department's automated tip line at (209) 385-4725.
-- Sun-Star Staff