Another drug arrest

(Bishop Police Press release from Public Information Officer, Katie Coffman)

Date of Event:         February 20, 2012 at 0106 hours.

Type of Event:    11357(a) HS-Possession of Concentrated Cannabis

Location:    N. Sierra Highway near Highlands Mobile Home Park

Suspect:    MURTAUGH, BRICE TAYLOR. 22 year old Laguna Niguel Resident.


Brice Taylor Murtaugh, 22, of Laguna Niguel

On February 20, 2012 at 0106 hours, the suspect MURTAUGH was stopped for a minor traffic infraction
by a Bishop Police Officer. During the contact, a search of the vehicle was conducted; as well as the
deployment of a Police canine. Officers recovered a black velvet case with pipes, stems, picks, vial’s, and
two small plastic containers with Concentrated Cannabis inside.

It was determined the total amount of Concentrated Cannabis recovered from the vehicle during the
search was 1gram.

MURTAUGH, Brice Taylor was arrested for 11357(a) HS-Possession of Concentrated Cannabis and
transported to the Inyo County Jail.

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57 Responses to Another drug arrest

  1. Trouble February 26, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    Wayne- you ought to try it. You might have a much more pleasant demeanor. P.S. it is legal to many already. Your wrong. Also, I haven’t had any in several years.

  2. Ex-Resident February 26, 2012 at 10:29 am #

    Perhaps some definitions are in order as none of you seem to have bothered with the real laws in California… So here they are…

    Marijuana defined — “Marijuana means all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds, or resin. It does not include the mature stalks of the plant, fiber produced from the stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of the plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of the plant which is incapable of germination.” California Health & Safety Code 11018.

    Concentrated cannabis defined — “Concentrated cannabis means the separated resin, whether crude or purified, obtained from marijuana.” Health & Safety Code 11006.5.

    Medical marijuana defined — “Only the dried mature processed flowers of female cannabis plant or the plant conversion shall be considered when determining allowable quantities of marijuana under this section.” Health & Safety Code 11362.77(d)

    Now here is the law…

    Medical marijuana is legal in California for qualified individuals: Medical patients and their designated primary caregivers may legally possess HS 11357 and cultivate HS 11358, but not distribute or sell, marijuana under HS 11362.5 (Prop 215) if they have a physician’s recommendation or approval. Legislation passed in 2003, SB420, created HS11362.775 extends that protection to transportation and distribution, among other exemptions.

    Possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor under California Health and Safety Code Section 11357. Possession of one ounce (28.5 gms) or less is punishable by a maximum $100 fine; jail time is possible for larger amounts or for hashish, which is an optional felony (“wobbler”). Possession offenders can avoid conviction by making a preguilty plea under Penal Code 1000, in which case their charges are dismissed upon successful completion of a diversion program. Possession offenses are expunged from the record after two years under Health and Safety Code Sections 11361.5 and 11361.7.

    Concentrated Cannabis is not legal under any circumstances in California.

  3. andrew February 24, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

    It will most likely cost the county more than it is really worth, jury trail anyone….

  4. MJA February 24, 2012 at 11:01 am #

    Who isn’t on drugs?


  5. Joe Biden February 23, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

    For all you whiners who say this is a waste of tax payer dollars. At least the Police are out there working instead of sitting in the station doing nothing. If this guy was stoned out and crashed into your family you all would be songing a different tune. The Police did their job and you should be thankful they were working and not just collecting a paycheck.

    • dean February 24, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

      Joe –

      We can’t be angry at the police for enforcing the laws. That’s like being mad at the mailman because he delivered the mail or a taxi driver because they are waiting on the curb for a fare. The police officer in this case was doing their job. A job that we pay them to do.

      The real focus of our energies should be on the failed drug policies that lead to the arrest in the first place, not the officer holding the hand cuffs.

      The cost society will bare for this arrest far outweighs any benefit it might have produced.

    • Trouble February 25, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

      Joe -when you call us whiners after stating” if this guy was stoned” and” if this guy crashed into your family” you sound more like a whinny weener than I.

      • Wayne Deja February 26, 2012 at 9:14 am #

        Trouble…I think what Joe is trying to say is everytime someone,a local or out-of-towner gets stopped,searched and arrested for transporting illegal drugs through the Owens Valley..and beyond..there are people ,like you,that whine about the ammount of drugs they have in possession,if their vehicle was illegally searched,how drugs should be legalized,since alcohol addiction is much worse than drug addiction,and how there is no such thing as driving under the influence of marijuana.

        • Trouble February 26, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

          Wayne- Joe’s response is just like most of yours. Filled with “what if’s” and pure fiction.

  6. Wayne Deja February 23, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

    Dean…You say “Marijuana helped form me into the person I am today??”…And your asking for informed opinions and an intelligent discussion?…think I’ll have to take a pass on that offer.

    • Dean February 24, 2012 at 12:35 pm #


      That was a logical fallacy in the form of an ad hominem attack. I graduated with two degrees in four years from a top ten research institution and earn good money in corporate America.

      If I am the product of marijuana smoking and you are not, what does that say about smoking marijuana?

      • Wayne Deja February 24, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

        Dean….IF what you say about yourself is true,why on Earth would such a highly intelligent and successful person (such as yourself) make such a foolish statement…Many people I know have had drug-related brushes with the law in their pasts…but none of them are now saying marijuana made them what they are today….what does it mean?

        • dean February 24, 2012 at 3:40 pm #


          My original statement was rather straight forward:

          “Marijuana helped form me into the person I am today. The sum of my experiences informs who I am.”

          In short – I am who I am today because of ALL of my life experiences, including those that some consider “less savory”. I attribute much of my social development and emotional intelligence to the party scene in college; prior to leaving the Eastern Sierra I was socially isolated and had few friends. The party culture helped me break out of my shell and I have formed many great friends as a result. Additionally, I learned self control and how to handle myself in situations that are less than desirable.

          I would be lying if I suggested that my past does not inform who I am today. Many of the people who you know that have had drug-related brushes with the law in the past have been affected by those encounters. Maybe some of them stopped using drugs. Maybe some decided to say “F the police”. Others may have gone to jail or, worse yet, prison.

          Every human’s current self is informed by the sum of their past experiences.

          The idea is that, by learning from my past, I can better myself into the future.

          • Wayne Deja February 24, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

            Dean…Now I understand…past experiences that helped all of us to grow up and not continue to make the same mistakes…including myself…been there,done that…maybe a better way to describe it ..

      • Wilfred S. February 24, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

        Priceless reply, Dean. Welcome to Wayne’s World…

  7. Bemused February 23, 2012 at 1:04 pm #


  8. Wayne Deja February 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

    Yeah,I’m sure also the very FIRST time he has ever possessed anytype of drugs,and if he ever has before,surely only small ammounts…. right? Nice kid?….He’s 22 years old!!..How many of you with daughters would like this guy traveling with her,along with the dope,and the drug paraphanalia he had stashed inside his little black bag..and then getting a call from Law Enforcement telling of the predicament he had gotten her into.Would he still be this “nice kid”,and welcome in your home and your lives?

    • Wilfred S. February 23, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

      You’re making lots of assumptions about this man’s character, based solely on you personal prejudices and stereotypes.

      From Wikipedia: A bigot is a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices, especially one exhibiting intolerance, and animosity toward those of differing beliefs.

      Mr Deja, I’d say you pretty much fit the bill.

      • Wayne Deja February 23, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

        Wilfred S…..MY assumptions based on MY prejudices and sterotypes?…In this story alone,you have questioned and “assumed”things about the Sierra Wave and it’s reporting,you insult Law Enforcement for wasting California tax payers money by making an arrest with this guy…and state the Country is also wasting our money with the war on drugs…What will win the war on drugs is ZERO TOLERANCE,like how some States deal with drug users and drug dealers.Maybe this guy,this “kid”, will learn a lesson by being dragged through the court system and having his life turned upside down….not to mention having to pay a big tow fee to get his vehicle out of the tow yard,bail money,court costs,fines,probation,a lawyer….You feel the war on drugs could be won in this Country if Law Enforcement turns their backs on people transporting ILLEGAL substances, and if the news media does not report on such instances when they happen.And,from what I remember from one of your earlier posts,I’m sure you think these officers were out of line by searching his vehicle,right? Now with your reply ,be sure to critique my punctuation and writting ability too.

      • Big AL February 23, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

        As I see it Wilfred you don’t either, just depends on how you feel about any particular subject.

    • dean February 23, 2012 at 4:49 pm #


      I was this nice kid. My wife’s family welcomed me into their family with open arms. My wife married me, even knowing that I smoked marijuana. I got arrested with the stuff (CVC 23222{b}) in 2007, two years before we got engaged – after her dad gave me permission of course.

      I am now a productive member of society, make good money, and contribute to the common good. I pay my taxes and volunteer my time. Marijuana helped form me into the person I am today. The sum of my experiences informs who I am.

      If my daughter chose to date a young man I would support her in that decision, even if the kid smoked marijuana. If she got into a car with a young man in possession of concentrated cannabis I would expect her to be adult enough to understand the potential consequences and to make an informed decision.

      Helicopter parenting a 20 year old? Give me a break.

      Wayne – I know you have Reefer Madness running on a loop in your mind but please, please, please bring an informed opinion filled with more than conjecture and straw man arguments. I’d love to have an intelligent discussion with you on this topic some time.

      Right now having these discussions with you is like playing chess with a pigeon. You are in checkmate and still walk around the board, take a crap, strut like you own the place and then knock over all the pieces before flying away.

    • Trouble February 24, 2012 at 7:11 am #

      Wayne- I’m sure my grandmother would fully support your argument on this matter.

  9. Eastern Sierra local February 23, 2012 at 11:14 am #

    Another waste of our Police resources….2 police show up at ~$70,000/year….with benefits ~$120,000/year. The gas to transport to Independence at $4.50 a gallon….all for a gram! Dumb!

  10. Rob February 23, 2012 at 9:54 am #

    What prompted them to search the vehicle?

    That gram of Concentrated Cannabis is a felony without prop215 protection.

    • dean February 23, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

      That gram is a wobbler – the DA can charge as a felony or a misdemeanor. I’m going to bet that this kid will get told to plea to a misdemeanor with probation and a ~$500 fine or they will charge him with the felony and take it to trial where he faces up to 6 months in jail.

  11. Trouble February 23, 2012 at 7:29 am #

    Does Sierra Wave really believe this qualifies as news worthy?

    • Benett Kessler February 23, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

      Yes. We want the public to know what’s happening in their towns and with tax dollars.

      • Wilfred S. February 23, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

        Ahh, good point Ms. Kessler. Facilitating transparency may trump propagandism.

      • J-Spoon February 24, 2012 at 6:44 am #

        Right On Bennett 🙂

      • Trouble February 24, 2012 at 7:04 am #

        Benett- I can respect that point of view. But at what point do you draw the line? Isn’t this charge in the same category as running a stop sign?

        • Benett Kessler February 24, 2012 at 10:06 am #

          Spend 37 years in news reporting, and then decide how you feel about it.
          Benett Kessler

          • Trouble February 24, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

            I wouldn’t last 37 seconds. 🙂

        • Wayne Deja February 24, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

          If you run a stop sign,unless you got outstanding warrants,I don’t think you’ll end up in cuffs and booked into jail…like what happened to this “child”.

      • cat February 24, 2012 at 9:41 am #

        Benett I truely do not understand your point of view. It does seem you take every press release from these agencies and run with it. Why? Many times in our community, alledged suspects (human being) lives are detrimentally affected by thier photos being pasted on your website. They are supposed to be inoccent until proven giuty, that is in court. But many times we judge the people we see and know, affecting their families as well. An example…the MCSD arrested a man for concentrated cannabis and the brass stated he was not covered by Prop 215. They were wrong, it was a bad arrest. This man was not a local but if he was everyone would see his photo pasted and know that he is a patient that is supposed to have confidentiality covering his medical use of marijuana. All because Law Enforcement screwed up.

        Do you not see the negative affect of your actions? The press is supposed to take a nonbiased stance, but from my perspective yours does not. From your oppinions on water issues to pasting everyones photo from alleged criminal activities on your website at the drop of a dime from the Police. I do respect what you do, but honestly not every petty drug arrest should make the news. Cannabis patients should retain some element of privicy especially seeing as local Law Enforcement does not carry a ton of respect for the concept of Medical Marijuana. Good day and thank you for your work.

        • Benett Kessler February 24, 2012 at 10:11 am #

          I look at news evaluation differently. The First Amendment – free speech and the right of the public to know what it’s agencies are doing comes first. FYI, I did interview the man you referred to and published his side of the arrest along with comments from law enforcement.

          You mentioned DWP news. Have you found something you think is inaccurate? If so, what is it?

          Benett Kessler

          • cat February 24, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

            I don’t think anything is not factual in your report. It is just with statements of “DWP bullying” that throws me for a loop. For years I have heard what I thought was your negative oppinion coming through when you talk about DWP. Please save that for the editorials.

            LA DWP bought up the valley long ago. There is a history of the valley fighting with LA DWP. These enities exist on their own and I would put more weight to your reporting if you kept what I thought was your oppinion out of it. Do you dislike LA’s DWP??

            And when you talk of the First Ammendment and the news you are going way off course. I do not question the right of a free press. I just feel with your news group the PD can call you and promote any oppinion or arrest they make. Even if they are in the wrong.


          • Benett Kessler February 24, 2012 at 6:26 pm #


            The news reports what happens involving public agencies, crime, politics, group activities,
            art, theater. In the case of the LADWP, they are a public agency – one of the largest in the nation. Their activities should be reported. Over nearly four decades we have witnessed how they treat individuals and county and city governments here. They frequently use bullying tactics to get water and keep opposition silenced. In the 70s and 80s local business owners privately told us that when they spoke out at public meetings against DWP, LA officials would come to them and say they could expect a lease rate hike or a loss of a lease if they continued to speak out. DWP leases buildings to businesses, churches, baseball fields, parks, airports, etc. If the news won’t report the truth about bullying public agencies, the people have little support. These are not opinions. They are facts. Most importantly, local officials have said they feel bullied in their attempts to protect resources. LADWP makes millions from the water here and the power it generates. They pay millions for lawyers to get more of our resources. They refuse to accept the most obvious truths about the environment and water management. If news outlets in Inyo and Mono won’t tell the truth and stand up for our towns, who will?

            Sierra Wave stands behind its news stories.
            Benett Kessler

        • Trouble February 24, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

          Cat I agree with what you say, but all this medical crap is crazy. Most people smoke it because they enjoy it. We need to legalize it and stop these games. It is less harmful than alcohol.

          • Wayne Deja February 26, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

            Trouble….quit your whining…..Want to smoke pot,fine,smoke pot…..Just don’t get behind the wheel when you’r high and don’t be a fool in public. when your on dope.It’s never going to be legal,so you got 2 choices.# 1..stub your toe and get a med card….or # it and take your chances….Your choice…# 1 or # 2…which one is it?

    • Wilfred S. February 23, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

      The compulsion of any news organization to post any and all press releases from law enforcement, is certainly questionable.

      • Concerned February 25, 2012 at 1:29 am #

        I too have been frustrated by the tendency of the local news agencies to publish statements from the police and prosecutors- often word for word. As somebody who has suffered for speaking out, it is upsetting that reporters won’t question things more. After awhile, one gets tired of speaking out, being disliked by those in power, and ultimately not seeing any change. It would be nice if more reporters were willing to be unpopular instead (selfish me).

        The Sierra Wave has (in my experience) been the most willing to actually engage in investigative journalism though- and I am always grateful for this website and the way it enables local people to post comments and be heard.

  12. Wilfred S. February 22, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

    “It was determined the total amount of Concentrated Cannabis recovered from the vehicle during the search was 1 gram.”

    This sentence pretty much sums up the problem America has with the “War on Drugs” and the continual bleeding of tax dollars to law enforcement. This individual had an incredibly small amount of one of the least harmful psychoactive substances on the planet. And yet now, he will be dragged through the court system and have his life screwed royally, all at taxpayer’s expense. The cops involved wasted hours of well-paid time dealing with this, when they could have, at their discretion, just confiscated the substance and let him be on his way.

    What is wrong with our country?

  13. Dan February 22, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

    Big drug bust, lol. Looks like a nice kid from a nice town.

  14. upthecreek February 22, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

    Way to go Bishop PD.

    Give yourselves a big Fat pay increase with Benefits

    • P&B February 23, 2012 at 8:56 am #

      Interesting to note that the Town posted for a $65K remodel for the police – looks like real belt tightening is happening under Wilbrecht’s administration……What els is not being disclosed about how tax dollars are being spent???

      • J-Spoon February 24, 2012 at 6:40 am #

        Have They made any “under the table” changes to their Big Fat Pensions Plan Funds also? just follow the money down the rabbit hole, just how deep does their rabbit hole go? That is the 52 dollar question

  15. J-Spoon February 22, 2012 at 5:40 pm #

    “It was determined the total amount of Concentrated Cannabis recovered from the vehicle during the
    search was 1gram.”…. Goood Grieeef… this makes tha headlines in INYO County?? How much of our Tax-Dollars spent to take This Dangerous “1 (ONE) Gram,,, Yes ONE Whole GRAM of Herb from the evil “Plant” known as Cannabis, off the street of Inyo County, Now we can all sleep better knowing our tax dollars are hard at Work… ROFL… Hahahahahah

    • Big AL February 22, 2012 at 9:31 pm #

      well yeah Spoon .. big news in the little city of Beeshup Cal .. but you play, you pay … The law is the law, don’t take your stash around town.

    • Eastern Sierra local February 23, 2012 at 11:11 am #

      Amen! One gram of marijuana doesn’t even make an eighth bag (1/8 is 3.5 grams) so chances are this is some fragment left behind….what a waste of time on our law enforcement’s part and he’ll only get a fine of ~$200. Yet the staff time of the PD, the K-9 unit, the transportation to Independence from Bishop @$4.50/gallon of gas is making our streets safer? Yeah right…..AND a gram isn’t a felony. They should have charged him with having paraphernalia instead. Get job Bishop PD I’m soooooo much safer now…..hahahaha

      • J-Spoon February 24, 2012 at 6:31 am #

        Not to mention tha staff time for “Put-Em-Away-Maillet” to tap-and-twirl hes pen in justice court, and the public defender, and the judge,, what’s the hourly rate/man hours for prosecuting this (1) ONE Gram of Herb? geez there has to be more productive things to do in Bish… Bish can’t b that Lame and Boring of a town, can it?

  16. Wayne Deja February 22, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

    Article should state”another “patient” arrested in Bishop”….Is it just me,or does it seem the locals,as well as the out-of-towners are having a harder time transporting their goods through the Owens Valley than they used to?…That Police K-9 is gonna be needing a vacation soon…either that or an increase in pay.Good job Bishop Police and K-9 dog.

    • Big AL February 22, 2012 at 9:28 pm #

      A vacay to the Mediterranean .. 3 weeks …

    • Rob February 23, 2012 at 10:03 am #

      One can’t be a patient without a Dr. recommendation. Had he had a Dr. recommendation he would have not been arrested and taken to jail.

      and I still want to know what prompted the search? Perhaps when he has his day in court it will be determined the vehicle was illegally searched. Without this information being in the arrest report we are left to only speculate.

      When I was pulled over the other day by Bishop P.D. I almost feel left out that they didn’t search my vehicle.

      • Joe Biden February 23, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

        Next time just make sure your car smell like POT and see what happens.

        • Wayne Deja February 23, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

          And next time,be sure to be acting all nervous and stupid…and if the officer asks to search the vehicle,tell him no…..and see what happens.

          • Joe Biden February 24, 2012 at 10:48 am #

            And don’t be dumb enough to drive a vehicle with minor Vehicle Code Violations on it or drive in a way that is going to draw attention to yourself.

    • Eastern Sierra local February 23, 2012 at 11:05 am #

      Actually, you’re wrong, the reason for his arrest is the lack of a “patient” status.


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