Dana N. Martinez

A Sonora woman was accused of hiding drugs, stolen mail and altered, fraudulent checks in a vehicle with false registration in the Lowe’s parking lot in Sonora on Wednesday night.

Mckenzie Lindeman, a dispatcher with the Sonora Police Department, said the stolen mail in the car was from throughout the city of Sonora and multiple locations in Tuolumne County. Some of the stolen checks from that mail had markings on them, indicating to investigators that the checks were altered as a part of a fraudulent identity theft scheme, she said. 

At about 7:45 p.m., an officer spotted a vehicle parked behind Lowe’s on Old Wards Ferry Road in Sonora. When he approached the vehicle, he realized the registration tabs on the back were fake, a Sonore Police Department press release said. 

After a tow truck was called to remove the vehicle, a 31-year-old woman appeared and questioned the officers. 

Because the woman was found to be on searchable probation, an officer searched the vehicle. Inside, he found a syringe, Lindeman said. 

Also inside there was mail reported stolen to the Sonora Police Department on Jan. 31, multiple checks, bank cards and personal information, the press release said. 

Dana N. Martinez of Sonora, was booked into the Tuolumne County Jail on suspicion of the felony charges identity theft, forgery, receiving stolen property and bringing a controlled substance into jail. 

Upon her arrival to booking, Martinez was found to be hiding three small bags of heroin, prescription pills and a pipe in her clothing. 

She was also charged with misdemeanors possession of a narcotic controlled substance, possession of prescription medicine, possession of paraphernalia and concealing evidence. 

As of Thursday, Martinez was bonded out of jail. Lindeman did not know the bail amount for Martinez. 


Contact Giuseppe Ricapito at (209) 588-4526 or gricapito@uniondemocrat.com. Follow him on Twitter @g_ricapito 

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