Shoplifting Report Leads to Arrests for Cocaine, Fentanyl and Heroin
Photo: cash and drugs seized
BERKELEY — Police responding to a shoplifting call uncovered something more nefarious, resulting in arrests of three men. Cocaine, fentanyl, and heroin were discovered inside a car outside a sporting goods store.
It happened January 8 at the REI store located on San Pablo Avenue. An officer checked the records of the parked car and learned that the owner’s license was suspended.
After shining a flashlight inside the car, police spoke to a man sitting in the backseat. The officer also observed a glass pipe and torch style lighter, typically used with illicit drugs.
Then two other men walked out of the store with merchandise, apparently without paying. All three men were detained while officers searched the car.
They found approximately 10 ounces of cocaine, fentanyl, and heroin. Officers also recovered two digital scales and $6,900 in cash.
Bryce W. Adams, 43 of Folsom, and Benjamin S. Patterson, 38 of Placerville, were arrested on drug-related charges. Patterson and James B. Laier, 41 of Carmichael, were also arrested on suspicion of theft.
All three suspects have multiple prior drug arrests. Adams was cited this time and released at the REI parking lot. Neither Patterson, who owns the vehicle, nor Laier remains in custody, pending further review of charges.
Adams has four previous drug-related arrests, including one in April 2021 for possession of controlled substances. He also has prior arrests for possession and transportation of controlled substances for sale, dating back to 2013.
Patterson has 18 prior drug-related arrest dating back to 2014, including driving under the influence of a controlled substance. Laier has six drug-related arrests on his rap sheet dating back to 2014.