LAKEPORT, LAKE COUNTY – When driving around with packaged methamphetamine in a car, a person might assume to follow a simple set of rules to avoid trouble. One, don’t drive a particularly distinctive car. Two, make sure your license and registration are up to date. Three, follow all traffic rules. And four, be perfectly sober and don’t do anything to attract attention to yourself. Fortunately for law enforcement, those in the drug business don’t seem to be able to keep all those things in mind as they go about their business.
A recent case-in-point is 53-year-old Frederick Edward Schoefer of Kelseyville. According to Steve Brooks of the Lake County Sheriff’s office, Schoefer was driving through Lakeport in a black Jaguar coupe last Thursday evening about 8:20 pm. As he traveled westbound on Lakeport Boulevard, a narcotics detective happened to take notice of him, describing his driving as “erratic”. The detective called in the plates to central dispatch, and they advised that the registration was expired and suspended. The detective pulled the car over on the 800 block of Lakeport.
The detective advised Schoefer of why he was pulled over, and had his canine do an inspection of the vehicle as well. The dog had been trained and certified for drug detection, and gave the detective handler multiple positive alerts as she circled the Jaguar. When confronted with this evidence, Schoefer adamantly denied a consensual search of the vehicle, and argued that the dog had not in fact given an alert. When asked, he also refused to submit to personal tests of his sobriety, as the detective believed he was currently under the influence of a drug.
Based on the probable cause of the K9 alert, the detective and his partner went ahead with a search of the vehicle, quickly finding some marijuana joints in the car’s ashtray. Opening the trunk, the detectives located a tool bag full of hand tools, and a hidden compartment that contained 17 packages of white crystal, which appeared to be methamphetamine. (A later test verified that belief, and the meth was weighed in at 14.7 grams.) When asked if it was his tool bag, Schoefer asserted his Miranda rights saying “I have the right to remain silent.”
He was arrested and booked at the Lake County Hill Road Correctional Facility on charges of possession of a controlled substance for sale, transportation of a controlled substance, being under the influence, and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. He resides there currently, with bail set at $35,000.