Three men were seen acting suspiciously in South Taft. Two booked on drug charges and warrants, third on out-of-state warrant


Kern County Sheriff's deputies arrested a suspect featured in Taft's Most Wanted and two other men on drug charges and warrants after a tip about three men possibly trying to break into vehicles in South Taft on Sunday.

Sgt. Marc Haiungs said deputies responded to the report of suspicious activity in the 300 block of General Petroleum Avenue and were told that three men with backpacks were trying to enter cars packed in the in the area.

Deputies were provided with a description of the men and found and detained the men matching the descriptions.

Thy were identified as Dale Knight, 29, of Maricopa; Johnny Stracener, 45, of Taft; and Michael Wells, 25, also of Taft.

A records check revealed Stracener and Wells both had warrants for their arrest.

Stracener, who had been featured in Taft's Most Wanted, a cooperative effort of the Taft Midway Driller and Kern County Sheriff's Office, had methamphetamine in his possession, Haiungs said.

Knight was searched and deputies located narcotics paraphernalia on him, the sergeant said.

Knight and Stracener were transported to the Taft Jail where Knight was jailed on charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and Stracener was booked for possession of a controlled substance and for his outstanding arrest warrants for possession of a controlled substance, being under influence of controlled substance and failure to appear.

Wells was transported to the central receiving facility in Bakersfield where he was booked on a no-bail out of state warrant.

Haiungs said deputies appreciated the help.

“The Kern County Sheriff’s Office wants to express its gratitude to the "anonymous" person who reported these suspicious subjects,” he said. “ We would like to remind residents if they see anything suspicious or suspect a crime is being committed, please call 911 for emergencies or Sheriff’s Dispatch for non-emergencies at (800) 861-3110. You can remain anonymous and help keep criminals off our streets.”