A man driving through south Lake County may have thought he was running a gauntlet after hearing of all the people busted for drug possession by the Lake County Sheriff’s Narcotics Task Force while driving through the area.
44-year-old Shawn Pasha Barman, however, was far from most of the action, however, as he drove through Middletown, a small community of under 1500 people 15 miles south of Lower Lake. Barman is from Cobb, a nearby town of under 2,000, just north of Middletown in the hilly region in the south Lake County.
Last Thursday, November 14, Barman was driving south on Highway 29 at 11:30 in the morning. His silver Infinity was traveling at 70 miles per hour, and displaying multiple vehicle code violations. A K9 unit deputy saw him going at least 30 mph above the posted limit, and initiated a traffic stop. According to Lt. Steve Brooks of the Lake County Sheriffs, the deputy stopped Barman at the 22000 block of Calistoga Street, aka Highway 29, in Middletown after observing him speeding for two miles.
The deputy observed that Barman was acting extremely nervous, and smelled the familiar odor of marijuana coming from the car as they spoke. The dog was called in for her own inspection, and gave her alert at the trunk of the car. The deputy asked Barman to step out and told him he would need to search the vehicle based on the dog’s discovery. The truck held a large green plastic container, which Barman admitted contained concentrated cannabis and hashish. Inside were 65 neatly packed baggies with the drugs, each marked ready for sales. Barman shared that he was selling the drugs to marijuana dispensaries for “whatever they give him”. The total weight of drugs in his sales kit turned out to be 8.5 pounds. And it looked like he had already had a pretty good day, as an envelope found in the container contained $6,692.00.
After Barman was arrested for possession and transportation of marijuana for sale, the Sheriff’s narcotics detectives took over. They secured a search warrant for Barman’s home on Gifford Springs Road the same day, and subsequently found on the premises another 4.5 pounds of processed marijuana, 21.4 grams of hashish, and $20,248.00 in cash. All were secured as evidence, and the money is being held pending asset forfeiture proceedings. You might think that if your “business” was hauling large quantities of illegal drugs around to sell, you would make sure your vehicle was up to code and not stray a tick about the posted speed limit. But perhaps the regular consumption of their wares helps some of these people feel more relaxed about the risk, or in Barman’s case, feel an urgency to get through as fast as you can.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Narcotics Task Force continues to enforce their vow to eradicate illegal drugs from their area, and to seize the profits whenever possible. Their anonymous tip line is 707-263-3663 for anyone who wants to get in on the action.
Lake County News: Cobb man arrested, marijuana and nearly $27,000 seized