suspicion of possessing methamphetamine for sale, Glendale Det. M.
Hess said. Its street value is estimated to be between $15,000 and
"For a normal street-level case, a half-pound is a good bust,"
Hess said. "Usually, we get an ounce or two at the most."
The five men were also arrested on suspicion of possessing of six
bags of cocaine and two bags of marijuana for sale, Hess said. Those
drugs' combined worth is about $2,250, police said. Measuring scales
and baggies were also seized.
Acting on an anonymous tip, police set up surveillance Tuesday
evening outside the home the five shared, Hess said. Police observed
Meher Aboolian, a Glendale man in his 20s, enter the home; they
stopped him after leaving a short while later. Aboolian was arrested
on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine.
Eight Glendale narcotics investigators, dressed in plain clothes,
then pulled up to the front of the house to detain the suspects, Hess
said. Three patrol officers made sure no one escaped from the back.
The officers "froze" the scene for two hours while a search
warrant was being prepared, Hess said.
"When we freeze a place, we detain everyone and secure it so no
one can get rid of the evidence or escape," he said.
The five are being held at Glendale City Jail on $20,000 bail
each, police said.
Ruben and Christina Barcena are married, and her son, Hernandez,
lives in the main house with them, Hess said. Saunders and his
stepson, Nevarez, live in the back house.
Ruben Barcena has had numerous run-ins with Glendale police. He
has previously been convicted of selling marijuana and has been
arrested on suspicion of selling PCP, Hess said.
His other prior arrests include grand-theft auto, receiving stolen
property, and assault and battery.
Glendale Det. Joe Allen called the bust a prime example of
residents standing up for their community.
"This is a case coming from anonymous tips from citizens who are
keeping an eye on their neighborhood," Allen said.
Anonymous tips can be made by calling the Crime Stoppers hotline
at (818) 507-7867.
* JACKSON BELL covers public safety and courts. He may be reached
at (818) 637-3232 or by e-mail at jackson.belllatimes.com.