On October 22, 2014, at approximately 8:30 am, YCSO K9 deputies arrested Kiefer Ryan Carter, 19, Christopher Wayne Abey, 18, Ryan Scott Rash, 27, on numerous felony charges after deputies located nearly 19 pounds of marijuana in their vehicle following a traffic stop. All suspects are from the Chico, California area.
BACKGROUND - Following a traffic violation on east 140, east of Ashfork, Arizona, K9 deputies contacted the above named individuals in a silver colored Mitsubishi Lancer. The driver, Kiefer Carter, was found to have a suspended license. All 3 individuals appeared very nervous and provided contradictory information regarding travel plans and in some cases could not fully identify who they were travelling with. Based on several factors assessed by the K9 officer in light of his training and experience, he believed the vehicle likely contained some type of contraband, i.e., drugs/narcotics. A request for a consent search was denied. As a result, the deputy deployed his K9 partner and following an exterior “sniff” of the vehicle, the K9 alerted on the rear passenger side indicating the odor of drugs.
When the deputy approached Rash following the K9 alert, Rash suddenly took off north across all 4 lanes of the I40 and into the desert. The deputy secured Carter and Abey in his patrol vehicle. A search of the suspect vehicle revealed nearly 19 pounds of packaged marijuana hidden inside two audio speaker boxes stored in the trunk. At this time, the K9 deputy was informed that another vehicle had been stopped by his K9 partners approximately 10 miles away and contained 3 subjects connected to the suspects in the Mitsubishi Lancer. An extensive search was initiated to locate Rash. His companions told deputies Rush would avoid custody at all costs. It was also learned Rash had pending criminal cases in California. As a result of a diligent and coordinated effort tracking the fleeing felon involving deputies from the K9 unit and patrol bureau, Rash was located just after 1 PM. He was found hiding in construction equipment parked in a gravel pit area north of Ashfork.
All 3 suspects were booked at the Camp Verde Detention Center on the following charges:
Kiefer Ryan Carter - ARS 13-3405.A4 Transportation of Marijuana for Sale, ARS 13-3405.A2 Possession of Marijuana for Sale, ARS 13-3405.A1 Possession/Use of Marijuana, ARS 13-3415.A1, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and ARS 28-3473.A1 Driving While Suspended.
Christopher James Abey - ARS 13-3405.A4 Transportation of Marijuana for Sale, ARS 13-3405.A2 Possession of Marijuana for Sale, ARS 13-3405.A1 Possession/Use of Marijuana, and ARS 13-3415.A1 Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
Ryan Scott Rash - ARS 13-3405.A4 Transportation of Marijuana for Sale, ARS 13-3405.A2 Possession of Marijuana for Sale, ARS 13-3405.A1 Possession/Use of Marijuana, ARS 13-3415.A1 Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and ARS 13-2503.A1 Escape in the 2nd Degree.
All three remain in-custody on a $25,000 bond.
The 3 individuals in the silver Honda Civic that had been stopped several miles to the west by K9 deputies were confirmed to have an association with the suspects in the Mitsubishi. They were identified as Richard Lee, 33, David Brawley, 32, and Charles Robertson, 30, all from California. Deputies were able to connect all these individuals to the marijuana load found in the Mitsubishi. Additionally, nearly 3 grams of methamphetamine was found in the front passenger compartment of the Honda. A walkie-talkie found in each of these vehicles allowed the 6 suspects to communicate. Lee, Brawley, and Robertson were arrested and booked on numerous charges including Possession of Dangerous, Drugs, Possession of Marijuana for Sale, Transportation of Marijuana for Sale, Possession of a Narcotic Drug and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. All remain in-custody – each on a $25,000 bond.