66-year-old woman from Gardnerville arrested on transporting drugs charge

A 66-year-old Gardnerville woman was arrested Thursday for transporting and possessing tar heroin and methamphetamine after she picked up the drugs at an apartment in Stockton, Calif., in a yellow 1973 Pontiac Firebird.

SLEDNET, South Shore's mutiagency drug task force, followed Dorothea "Dolly" Garcia from a hotel room in South Lake Tahoe to Stockton where they teamed up with CRACNET, a drug task force from Stockton, and arrested Garcia after she reportedly picked up 14 grams of heroin and 14 grams of methamphetamine.

"She's been dealing with drugs in South Lake Tahoe for quite a while," said SLEDNET Task Force Commander Chris Elliott. "For years officers have known she's been dealing but she's escaped getting caught because when she's pulled over she looks like a little grandmother. This time it didn't work."

Elliott said Garcia was held at a local hospital while they obtained a special search warrant that allowed them to search "on and in her person." As Garcia undressed, an officer reportedly saw a plastic baggy in her hand. It turned out to be two plastic bags each filled with drugs, Elliott said.

SLEDNET also arrested 48-year-old Michael Kukor, a passenger in Garcia's car who violated his probation by leaving El Dorado County. Officers reported that Kukor, on probation for a drug conviction, also appeared to be high on heroin at the time of his arrest.

SLEDNET searched Kukor's room at National 9 Motel and arrested Steve Barcellows, 48, because of a "clean" syringe he had which was a violation of of probation he was on because of a drug conviction.

Elliott said he believes Garcia, who has drug-related convictions dating back to 1951, has been in the area of South Lake Tahoe since 1989.

Garcia was booked into San Joaquin County Jail but posted her $66,000 bail a day later.


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