Drug bust leads to four arrests, seizure of $50k in meth

HEMET, Calif. - A drug bust by Hemet police led to the seizure of $50,000 worth of methamphetamine and the arrests of four suspects, two of whom were behind bars today.

John Deno Marks, 22, of Hemet and Rene Sandoval, 35, of San Jacinto were arrested Monday when tips regarding suspicious activity led officers to discover an alleged drug-making operation, according to police.

Marks was arrested on suspicion of being in possession of controlled substances, while Sandoval was booked on suspicion of the same allegation, as well as being in possession of a concealed firearm and an illegal weapon.

Both suspects were being held at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta -- Marks in lieu of $100,000 bail and Sandoval in lieu of $50,000 bail.

According to Hemet police Lt. Eric Dickson, officers were called to the 600 block of Zinnia Court around 7:40 a.m. Monday to investigate possible illegal activity inside the garage of a single-story residence.

When officers arrived, they encountered Sandoval, who was known to them and believed to be armed, the lieutenant said. When an officer attempted to detain the suspect, he allegedly became combative but was quickly subdued, according to Dickson.

Officers learned the suspect -- who was allegedly in possession of a gun and 100 grams of meth -- had been staying at a motel at 1201 W. Florida Ave. and went there to see what they might find, Dickson said.

He said Marks and two women were arrested at the motel after officers allegedly discovered 300 grams of meth in their room.

"The total amount of methamphetamine seized has an estimated street value of over $50,000," Dickson said.

The two women were wanted on misdemeanor warrants and later released.

No other suspects were identified.

Dickson credited an "alert citizen" who made the initial call about suspicious activity with helping police seize the contraband.

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