Teens arrested for drug, firearm possession in Reedley

Reedley Police Department arrests a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old from neighboring Orange Cove found with two handguns and large amounts of cannabis, THC vape pens

By Serena Bettis
Published November 8, 2023  • 
10:30 am
(Reedley Police Department)
(Reedley Police Department)

REEDLEY – Police officers arrested two juveniles Sunday afternoon in Reedley after a traffic stop led to the discovery of two handguns and “large amounts” of cannabis in the juveniles’ possession.

According to a Nov. 6 press release from the Reedley Police Department, officers observed a blue Honda with two occupants parked suspiciously at a public park in Reedley at approximately 2:30 p.m. Nov. 5. After the vehicle appeared to leave once the occupants saw the police officers, the officers conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle, which resulted in the arrest of 15-year-old and 17-year-old male juveniles from Orange Cove.

During the traffic stop, officers discovered one of the juveniles was armed with a 9mm handgun, and a second 9mm handgun was also found in the vehicle; one of the guns did not have a serial number on it, and both had ammunition loaded into the magazine, the press release said. A full search of the vehicle led to the discovery of what the press release called a “large amount” of cannabis, THC vape pens, scales and drug packaging materials.

“It was evident to officers that the drugs were of large enough quantity and specifically packaged for sales,” the press release said. “Both male juveniles were arrested and charged with illegal drug possession, as well as illegally possessing two firearms.”

The juveniles were transported to the Fresno County Juvenile Justice Campus. 

Reedley Police Cmdr. Marc Ediger said the department does not have any prior knowledge of either individual because they are from Orange Cove. Additionally, he said it can be difficult to obtain information from juveniles during interviews because California law requires anyone 17 years old or younger to have a lawyer present when they are questioned by police; juveniles cannot waive the right to an attorney like adults can.

Reedley PD cautions against THC vape pens

In the press release, the Reedley Police Department emphasized to parents and juveniles the dangers of acquiring THC vape pens “on the street” from unlicensed distributors. 

“Often when these pens are lab tested, the THC wax or juice also contains fentanyl, which can be deadly even with a single ‘hit’ from one of these pens,” the press release said. “We know these types of THC smoking devices are common among high school and even junior high students.”

Despite this recent development, juveniles are not heavily involved in crime throughout Reedley. 

Data from 2023 shows that approximately 2.8% of all arrests made by the Reedley Police Department have involved juveniles. Additionally, while the department makes many drug-related arrests — Sgt. Gary Kincaid said there were 372 in Reedley between Jan. 1 and Nov. 6 — those cases only make up 29.6% of all arrests in the city.

Serena Bettis
General Assignment Reporter