Returned Property Leads To Three Arrests


Mazatzal Casino security staff was attempting to return a lost personal organizer to its rightful owner when they discovered drug paraphernalia.

The discovery was made Jan. 2, and the Payson Police Department was called in to take over.

Payson Police Lt. Don Engler said a hypodermic syringe and a plastic bag with a substance believed to be methamphetamine was discovered in the property.

Two Show Low residents and one Payson man were arrested in the incident: Christopher M. Lee, 25, and Caley B. Ratliff, 22, of Show Low; and Randall P. Owens, 26, of Payson.

During the course of the investigation at the casino, it was discovered the three initially gave fictitious names and Owens had also tried to cash a forged check, using the identity of another. Owens also had a weapon on him at the casino, Engler said.

Lee was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. Ratliff was charged with possession of dangerous drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia, Engler said.

Owens was charged with possession of dangerous drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, misconduct involving a weapon, identity theft and forgery.

Lee and Ratliff were released on their own recognizance and Owens was released with no complaint filed.

Engler said an investigation is continuing into whether the identity Owens tried to use belongs to an actual person in Globe, or is a false identity.

Two more arrested

Payson police made two more drug arrests Jan. 7 when they were called in to assist the Gila County Probation Department in a search at a residence in the 500 block of East Lorraine.

The police were called in around 11:41 a.m. The probation officer was completing the search when he discovered drugs and drug paraphernalia.

The police obtained a search warrant for the residence and arrested Jodi Schneider, 39, and Robert Buchanan, 41.

Buchanan was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana and misconduct involving a weapon.

Schneider was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

Both were released on their own recognizance.

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