Bishop police officers arrested an Arizona man on felony drug charges last week after following up on reports of someone smoking marijuana in public.
Rex Alan Hornbaker, 56, was arrested on Monday, April 4 for possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, possession of a controlled substance and transportation of a controlled substance.
Police officers made a traffic stop on Hornbaker’s vehicle at about 6:30 p.m. after a concerned resident reported witnessing a man smoking marijuana near Joseph’s Bi-Rite Market on Main Street.
When officers arrived at the scene, it appeared the subject they were looking for had left. Officers were able to catch up with him and two passengers, a 1-year-old child and the child’s mother, as they were leaving town, traveling south on Main Street.
Bishop Police Detective Mark Gutierrez said officers immediately noticed a “strong” odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle and conducted a search of Hornbaker’s person. That search allegedly revealed “a couple prescription pills and also a bit of methamphetamine,” Gutierrez said.
After recovering the drugs, the officer called for Bishop’s drug detecting canine to search the vehicle, which revealed a large amount of pre-packaged marijuana in duffle bags in the trunk of the car.
Hornbaker was arrested and also charged with child endangerment and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was transported to Inyo County jail where bail was set at $100,000.
All information pertaining to the young child was forwarded to the Inyo County Child Protective Services.
The female passenger was released without charges and the child was released to her custody.
Due to the sheer volume of marijuana recovered from the vehicle, Gutierrez said the evidence had to be sent to the Inyo County Narcotic Enforcement Team to be weighed. “Our scales just weren’t able to handle that amount of weight,” Gutierrez said.
Phone calls to INET seeking information about exactly how much marijuana was seized, and its approximate street value, were not returned as of press time Monday.