An Orange County couple, Brandon Brown, 26, and Lauren Schneider, 28, became the targets of an investigation into drug sales. The Huntington Beach Police Special Investigations Bureau was working on a case of a methamphetamine dealer working in Huntington Beach. Their investigation led them to a Costa Mesa home, and on Thursday, September 18, they procured a search warrant for the home, located just a few blocks from Costa Mesa High School.
Brown, who was living in Fountain Valley at the time, and Schneider, who was from Huntington Beach but was residing at the home, were both found and arrested as the warrant was served. Detectives found the meth evidence they were looking for, and charged both with possession, sales, and transportation of controlled substances, along with conspiracy. But according to the Huntington Beach Police, they found much more. A “vast amount of evidence” related to identity theft was also discovered at the home. Both were additionally charged with penal code 476 – “uttering a fictitious check” and booked at the Huntington Beach jail.
The evidence of the identity theft was turned over to detectives from the Economic Crimes Unit, who worked with agents from the U.S. Secret Service to begin a separate investigation into that aspect of the case. Meanwhile, Brown posted $120,000 bail, and Schneider $200,000 and both were released pending court dates.
The investigation into the evidence seized revealed the pair were in possession of counterfeit US currency, personal information profiles of victims, and unauthorized account access devices. The pair were arrested again on November 5 and are being held in Federal custody on these charges.