Traffic stop results in a felony arrest

Madera County Sheriff’s Office

Madera County Sheriff’s Deputy Ian Roth during a stolen vehicle investigation Aug. 7.


A deputy sheriff on patrol in the Valley arrested a suspect apparently involved in a vehicle theft who also was in possession of illegal drugs Aug. 7.

Madera County Sheriff’s Deputy Ian Roth was on patrol in the area of Road 29 and Avenue 16, when he saw a silver-colored Toyota Tacoma with a cracked front windshield, missing front license plate, and paper dealer plate in the rear.

Deputy Roth stopped the pickup and identified the driver as 39-year-old Valerie Barrientoz of Madera.

During the course of his investigation, Roth examined the rear paper plate and exposed a covered CA license plate, which a sheriff’s dispatcher reported was registered to a vehicle with a different make and model. Deputy Roth provided Dispatch with the truck’s VIN, which came back as being reported stolen out of Louisiana.

During a subsequent search of the vehicle’s interior, Roth observed hanging wires in place of a missing ignition, as well as methamphetamine paraphernalia. When asked, Barrientoz admitted to having methamphetamine on her person. Shortly after her admission, Deputy Katlyn Thele reported to the scene and recovered the drugs. Barrientoz was subsequently arrested and taken into custody.

Barrientoz was booked into at Madera County Department of Corrections without incident for felony possession of a stolen vehicle, and misdemeanor charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of controlled substance paraphernalia.