A suspect arrested in March, when the sheriff’s office accused him of having meth in the car with two juveniles on San Juan Canyon Road, failed to appear for a June court hearing and had a warrant issued for his arrest.
Pablo Tapia, age 30 when arrested March 12 and released on his own recognizance, remains at large.
Tapia failed to appear for a scheduled June 5 arraignment at the San Benito County Courthouse. Judge Steven Sanders issued a bench warrant for Tapia, whom authorities have yet to detain.
When asked about Tapia’s status, Capt. Eric Taylor with the San Benito County Sheriff’s Office responded that Tapia had been released on his own recognizance at about 7:45 a.m. the same day as his arrest. Taylor noted how that was a promise to appear in court and said he was unsure what happened after that because the case is with the district attorney’s office now.
The San Benito County District Attorney’s Office in late April filed the charges against Tapia alleging he possessed a controlled substance, contributed to the delinquency of a minor and sold liquor to a minor, according to court records. A DA’s office representative Tuesday said nothing had changed since Tapia’s warrant was issued.
The 18-year-old with Tapia and two 17-year-olds, Jennifer Gonzalez, was charged with lesser offenses alleging false identification to a peace officer and minor possessing alcohol, records showed.
According to a statement from the San Benito County Sheriff’s Office released in March:
On March 12, Sergeant Lobdell contacted the above listed subjects in a vehicle on San Juan Canyon Road near The Alameda. Upon making contact, he found a 30-year-old male was in the company of an 18-year-old female and two 17-year-old females. Sergeant Lobell noticed evidence of open alcoholic beverage containers and the presence of a substance that tested positive for methamphetamine.
During his investigation the following was learned:
Pablo Tapia, a resident of Salinas, picked up two female juveniles (also from Salinas) in the city of Salinas. At some point, Tapia acquired alcohol and methamphetamine. The trio went to Watsonville where they picked up Gonzalez.
The four subjects then planned to go to Fremont Peak State Park to drink, do drugs and “party.” For an unknown reason, Tapia stopped on San Juan Canyon Road where he was contacted by Sgt. Lobdell. During the course of conducting a search of Tapia’s vehicle, Sgt Lobdell found a large number of opened, partially consumed, empty and unopened beer cans and bottles. Several of the opened partially consumed beer containers had tipped over and soaked the interior. Sgt Lobdell also located, wedged under the front passenger seat, a clear plastic baggie containing suspected methamphetamine.