Justin James Bowden
Two Baxter County residents have been arrested on felony drug charges following an investigation that began last weekend.
Law Enforcement authorities in California notified Baxter County authorities that suspected drug parcels were being shipped from California and delivered via Federal Express to an address in rural Mountain Home.
Yesterday, June 28th, the Sheriff’s Office learned that the local Federal Express office had received a package for delivery to that address. A police canine was utilized to conduct a sniff of the package. The canine alerted on the package indicating the presence of drugs. The Sheriff’s Office then obtained a search warrant for the package, and it was confirmed to contain approximately 9.9 ounces of marijuana.
A plain clothes undercover officer posing as a delivery driver delivered the package yesterday afternoon at approximately 4:05 PM, and it was received by the suspects. Immediately thereafter, authorities executed a search warrant on the residence at 1367 West Road.
During the execution of the search warrant, authorities seized drug paraphernalia and other evidence of drug transactions. These included scales, packaging, bank accounts, computers, and a small amount of cash. There was evidence that approximately fourteen (14) packages had been delivered to this address from California, and there was also evidence of payments being sent from the suspects to California for the drugs. Both suspects were taken into custody and transported to the Baxter County Detention Center for booking.
JUSTIN JAMES BOWDEN, 27 YEARS OLD, and IDALIA CHAVEZ, 23 YEARS OLD, were each charged with:
Delivery of Schedule VI Controlled Substance (marijuana) – Felony
Possession Schedule VI Controlled Substance (marijuana) with
purpose of delivery – Felony
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Felony
BOWDEN was released from custody after posting bond in the amount of $25,000, with an appearance in Circuit Court set for July 12th. Authorities determined that IDALIA CHAVEZ is an illegal alien and contacted the Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Federal authorities from ICE have placed a detainer on CHAVEZ due to her immigration status.
Today, authorities were notified by Federal Express of another package they had received from California for delivery at 1367 West Road. Authorities searched this package and seized an additional quantity of marijuana. The total amount of seized marijuana is approximately 27 ounces having a street value of approximately $10,800.
Agencies involved in the investigation, searches, and arrests were the Sheriff’s Office, Arkansas State Police, and Mountain Home Police Department.
/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff