UKIAH – MENDOCINO COUNTY – Earlier this month, on Thursday March 12, according to information just released by the Mendocino Sheriff’s office, a deputy witnessed the occupant of a pickup truck violate the Paul Buzzo act – the 1970 law that prohibits throwing things, especially hazardous objects like burning cigarettes or matches, from a vehicle.
The deputy was driving along southbound Highway 101 near the Gobbi Street underpass when he witnessed one of two men in the pickup throw something out the window. He pulled the truck over, and when he approached the vehicle, was hit by the smell of marijuana as soon as he spoke to the men. The driver, Guadencia Mendez, 36 of Santa Rosa, not only had a suspended license, but had two outstanding warrants for his arrest. Mendez – also known as Gaudencio Mendez-Zurita, had been arrested in July of last year for speeding and driving without a license, and in November for unsafe speed and a suspended license.
A search of the pickup truck revealed 15 pounds of processed marijuana, packaged and ready to sell. They also had $142,000.00 in cash, apparently from prior sales of marijuana. The second man in the truck, Rolando Rojas-Ramirez, 34 of Freedom, California, was also found to be in possession of cocaine and methamphetamine. Freedom is a small town on the Monterey Bay near Watsonville.
Both men were arrested and booked at the Mendocino County jail on charges of possession and transportation of marijuana for sales, possession of methamphetamine and a controlled substance, and possession of money for use in a drug transaction over $100,000.00. Mendez was also charged with the familiar driving on a suspended license. His bail was set at $40,000, while Rojas-Ramirez’ bail was $30,000.