Men arrested at gunpoint had a large amount of drugs, Sheriff says
An investigation into an oilfield theft led to the dramatic takedown and arrest of two men by heavily armed police and sheriff's deputies in downtown Wednesday afternoon.
The arrested led to the discovery of several ounces of methamphetamine and now the two suspects face drug trafficking charges as well.
The takedown took place about 3:30 p.m. as the two men walked out of a business on the 400 block of Center Street.
Kern County Sheriff's Sgt. Kevin George said deputies investigating an oilflied theft in the Derby Acres area on Jan. 30 developed information that led to an arrest warrant for Steven Havens, 47.
Wednesday afternoon, deputies received information that Havens was on Center Street.
Deputies and Taft Police set up a perimeter around the area and waited for Havens to come out. Law enforcement sources said officers had information that Havens had made threats to resist if officers came for him.
George said the safest thing was to clear the area and wait for the suspect to come out.
When he did, accompanied by another man, the officers rushed them with assault rifles and took them into custody.
After the arrest, the motorcycles belonging to Havens and a second man, John Mitchell were searched.
George said officers found "a significant amount" of methamphetamine in the saddle bags as well as marijuana, concentrated cannabis and assorted prescription pills.
George said Mitchell was searched and deputies found more meth on him, metal knuckles and prescription pills.
In all, George said, 126 grams, about 5 ounces, were seized.
Havens was being sought in connection with a break-in at an oilfield yard on the 25000 block of Highway 33 on Jan. 30.
In that case, someone broke into the yard, stole several items, including the keys to work trucks, and a vehicle.
The search led to a house at 218 Lucard where deputies found some of the stolen property and obtained a search warrant to seek more and recovered "numerous items stolen during the vehicle theft and burglary," George said.
They also found weapons that Havens, as a convicted felon, is barred from possessing.
That led to the warrant for Havens' arrest.
Both men were booked into the Taft Jail pending a court appearance.
Havens is charged with burglary, auto theft and possession of stolen property in a connection with he warrant and additional charges of possession of a methamphetamine for sale, transportation of methamphetamine, conspiracy and possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, George said.
Mitchell is charged with possession of methamphetamine for sale, transportation of methamphetamine, conspiracy and possession of a controlled substance without a prescription.
Bail for Havens is $142,000 and Mitchell is being held on $$77,500.