SoCal City Councilman Arrested on Meth Charges

Police made the arrest while investigating a theft at a hotel in the Inland Empire city of Perris

By Jason Kandel and Ryan Bourgard
|  Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014  |  Updated 2:40 PM PDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Perris city leaders said they were shocked by the arrest of a councilman on meth charges. Gadi Schwartz reports from Perris for the NBC4 News at 11 on Tuesday, June 24, 2014.

Gadi Schwartz, Kenny Holmes

Perris city leaders said they were shocked by the arrest of a councilman on meth charges. Gadi Schwartz reports from Perris for the NBC4 News at 11 on Tuesday, June 24, 2014.

A city councilman from a small Southern California city was arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of meth and meth possession, officials said on Tuesday.

The case broke Tuesday about 7:30 a.m. when officers from the Perris Police Department responded to a theft call at the Red Lion Inn hotel in the 500 block of Redlands Boulevard, police said.

According to hotel staff, Perris City Councilman Julio Rodriguez had gone to the lobby and asked hotel staff to call police about a theft. The staff told him they couldn't do that, so Rodriguez called instead.

During the course of the theft investigation, Rodriguez, "displayed symptoms consistent with being under the influence of a controlled substance," police said in a statement.

Rodriguez, pictured below, was arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance.

During a search of Rodriguez's hotel room, drug paraphernalia and a small quantity of methamphetamine was found, police said.

Rodriguez, 28, was booked into jail on charges of possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and being under the influence of a controlled substance.

A person inside Rodriguez's home, believed to be a family member, said "he doesn't live here right now, so we don’t know nothing," when asked about the alleged incident.

Rodriguez had made the news years ago when he was elected to the Perris City Council on a campaign that spent only $500. Since then, he sat in as the youngest member of the council.

"(The arrest) makes us look even worse," a Perris resident said.

Perris city leaders said they were shocked by the news and they were not going to rush to judgment.

"How can you lead if you can't demonstrate that by the way you live, the way you act," Councilman Mark Yarbrough said.

It was not immediately clear whether Rodriguez had a lawyer. If Rodriguez is convicted of a felony, he could lose his city council seat.

NBC4's Gadi Schwartz and Samia Khan contributed to this report.

Follow NBCLA for the latest LA news, events and entertainment: iPhone/iPad App | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | RSS | Text Alerts | Email Alerts

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
Running Dry
Coverage of the California drought. Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out