MURRIETA – A Murrieta traffic stop led to a search warrant and the recovery of cocaine, narcotics-related paraphernalia, items commonly associated with drug sales and a large amount of cash Wednesday, March 29. Officials served the warrant, which resulted in two arrests, after patrol officers found cocaine and a large amount of cash in a hidden compartment inside a vehicle during an earlier traffic stop.
Anthony Joseph Harris, 26, and Meisha Everett, 26, both of Murrieta, were arrested and booked on suspicion of possession of narcotics for sales, transportation of narcotics, child endangerment, weapons and other charges.
The investigation that led to the search warrant and narcotics recovery began as a traffic stop about 2 p.m., when a member of the Riverside County Regional Gang Task Force conducted a traffic enforcement stop on a vehicle near the intersection of Murrieta Hot Springs Road and Alta Murrieta Road in Murrieta.
While speaking with the driver, authorities “detected a strong odor of marijuana emitting from the vehicle,” Murrieta Police Lieutenant Ron Driscoll wrote after the arrest.
During the traffic stop, officials conducted a routine records check that revealed Harris had several prior arrests for being in a criminal street gang, possession of weapons and burglary.
Based on the strong odor of marijuana emanating from Harris’ vehicle, a police K9 was summoned to the location of the traffic stop. The service dog “immediately alerted to the presence of narcotics inside Harris’ vehicle,” Driscoll said.
Officers searched Harris’ vehicle and eventually located a large amount of cash and cocaine hidden in a secret compartment inside the vehicle.
At that time, officers arrested Harris for possession of narcotics.
Because of the amount of cocaine and cash found inside Harris’ vehicle, officials sought and obtained a warrant to search his residence.
Members of the Riverside County Regional Gang Task Force and the Murrieta Police Department Special Enforcement Team responded to Harris’ residence to serve the warrant.
While serving the search warrant, “officers located a significant amount of cash, some of which was hidden inside the toys of the small children that reside at the residence,” Driscoll explained. “Officers also located narcotics paraphernalia, scales, baggies commonly used to package illicit narcotics, brass knuckles and ammunition.”
“The narcotics paraphernalia was located in a common, open-area of the home and easily accessible to small children,” said Driscoll. Officials did not specify how many children were in the residence when they served the warrant or how many children are currently living at the home.
The mother of the children, identified as Meisha Everett, was arrested for child endangerment.
Both Harris and Everett were booked into the Southwest Detention Center.
An online jail records search revealed Harris was booked on suspicion of possession of narcotics for sales, transportation of narcotics, having a false vehicle compartment, possession of “Brass Knuckles”, child endangerment and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
He was released from custody the day after his arrest after posting $35,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta May 25.
Everett was booked on suspicion of child endangerment. No further information was available regarding her arrest.
Anyone with further information about this incident or arrests is encouraged to contact Riverside County Regional Task Force members at (951) 922-7601. Callers can refer to incident file number GS170880001 and can remain anonymous.