Drug lab seized in Valley Springs

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By LENORE RUTHERFORD

A traffic stop Friday east of Valley Springs resulted in the arrest of a Lodi man, the discovery of a methamphetamine lab in Valley Springs and the arrest last night of a couple in Idaho.

Deputies sought a search warrant for a trailer on the 200 block of Rose Street after finding methamphetamine on a passenger in a car stopped on Highway 12 at Upper Line Creek Road at 3 p.m. Friday, Calaveras County Sheriff's Deputy Louis Larson said.

Tiberio F. Chaves, 40, of Lodi, was arrested then on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine.

Larson said deputies had been watching the trailer based on an anonymous tip, and had seen the car there earlier in the day.

Deputies also suspected a meth lab was involved because of a distinct chemical odor on people in the car, Larson said.

Deputies went to the Rose Street trailer and secured it, waiting for the search warrant.

After deputies arrived at the trailer but before the search warrant was served David Sommerville, 34, and Rhonda Sommerville, 34, who lived there, took their four small children and fled.

Larson said during the search, evidence was found that the Sommervilles have relatives in Grangeville, Idaho.

"We called the Grangeville Police, and they picked the adults up," he said this morning. "The children are staying there with family members."

He declined to say who the family members are or whether the children will remain where they are.

David Sommerville was arrested on charges of drug manufacturing, possessing pseudoephredine or ephedrine with the intent to manufacture a controlled substance, child endangerment, being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm while in the commission of a felony and possession for sale of more than one ounce of marijuana.

He is in custody in Idaho in lieu of $265,000.

Rhonda Sommerville was arrested on the same charges except being a felon in possession of a firearm. She is in custody in lieu of $150,000.

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The Union Democrat
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