While checking out a suspected drug deal occurring in the AM/PM Mini-Mart parking lot on Hatch Road early Tuesday, police arrested a Patterson man who was in possession of narcotics.
At 2:54 a.m. Ceres Police officers Charles Rushing and Kevin Sakasegawa were driving southbound on Richland Avenue when they saw a white vehicle parked behind the business in the dark with a person leaning into the driver's side window. They suspected it was a drug deal so they investigated. As the officers pulled into the parking lot Damian Garcia-Calvillo, 21, of Ceres, began walking away. He said he was just asking the driver for a cigarette and was released.
The driver, Hermilo Simon, 39, of Patterson, was on parole for transportation of narcotics. A search of his car interior turned up nothing illegal. However, under the hood was a black leather case near the battery. It contained a baggie containing crystal methamphetamine (over 11 grams), a black digital scale, a small metal tin containing a large amount of small clear ziplock baggies, a half size teaspoon, four methamphetamine pipes and one empty capped syringe.
Simon said the leather case was not his and refused to provide additional information. Simon's parole officer granted a parole hold on Simon. He was and booked into the Stanislaus County Jail on charges of felony possession of a controlled substance for sale and parole violation.