Suspected drug house in Carson City raided; six arrests |

Suspected drug house in Carson City raided; six arrests

Carson City Sheriff's Office deputies arrest a man following a search warrant raid near the 3300 block of Gordonia Drive.
Taylor Pettaway / Nevada Appeal |

Drugs expected in man’s death

A 29-year-old Carson City man died from a suspected drug overdose early Friday morning.

Deputies and medics responded to Kit Sierra Way to reports of a man experiencing overdose-like symptoms around 1 a.m. An investigation is underway though Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong said there are no obvious signs of trauma.

“There are suspected signs of drug use,” Furlong said. “It is just sad that it falls on the same night as several arrests for heroin distribution in Carson.”

Furlong said this is one of several recent deaths the coroner suspects heroin to be involved.

“Sadly we had a similar case that we were investigating a few weeks ago with another suspected overdose with similar circumstances,” Furlong said. “Drug overdoses aren’t uncommon in Carson City. Tragically they are often our younger folks.”

An autopsy is scheduled, but toxicology results won’t be available for at least six weeks.

— Nevada Appeal staff report

Local law enforcement took down a suspected drug house early Thursday night that was allegedly running heroin sales across the street from Empire Elementary School.

Members of the Carson City Sheriff’s Office and Tri-Net conducted a search warrant for a residence at the 3300 block of Gordonia Drive at 11:30 p.m. Thursday. The officers had gotten a tip earlier in the day after conducting a traffic stop near Dotty’s Casino on Highway 50.

Officers initiated a traffic stop with a vehicle that had just left the Gordonia residence they suspected to be running drugs after the vehicle failed to yield at a stop sign. Inside the car was one female and three males. Upon the search, officers found a gram and a half of heroin, syringes loaded with heroin and weapons, law enforcement stated. Three of the occupants were taken to jail on drug related charges and a warrant, and one passenger was released at the scene.

Carson City Special Enforcement Team Sgt. Daniel Gonzales said some occupants in the car had tipped off police about the Gordonia residence. Officials said as they prepared to conduct the search warrant on the house, the one occupant in the car who was released, identified as Angel Benavidez, 23, allegedly ran back to the house and warned those inside the police were coming.

Tri-Net officers and Sheriff’s Office deputies conducted the warrant at 11:30, but believe the occupants had about 15 minutes to hide or destroy evidence before officers arrived.

“Having this right across from an elementary school is what’s scary about this,” said Tri-Net Sgt. Dan Johnson. “But this was one of those great collaborative efforts by SET and Tri-Net.”

At the raid, officers arrested Benavidez on suspicion of possession of drug paraphernalia, obstructing a peace officer and violation of alternative sentencing and Michael Bird, 40, on suspicion of possession of drug paraphernalia, maintaining a drug house, two counts of possession of a controlled substance, felony use of a controlled substance in the presence of a child. Both will have enhanced charges because of the proximity of the school to illegal activities.

There were four people in the house when officers arrived, including an infant, but the child and two others left before officers came in.

Officers said they found numerous loaded hypodermic needles, used for allegedly shooting heroin, methamphetamine, and other paraphernalia in the house.

A total of six people were arrested in relation with the search, including the four from the traffic stop.

Tyler Stump-Jeffers, 22, of Carson City was arrested on suspicion of possession of drug paraphernalia and felony possession of a controlled substance; James Kepler, 32, of Carson City was arrested on suspicion of petit larceny warrant, felony false ID to avoid prosecution, felony possession of a controlled substance and contempt of court alternative sentencing violation; and Jeanise Bird, 48, of Carson City was arrested on suspicion of felony possession of a controlled substance, felony possession with intent to sell and traffic stop violation.