Pasco man busted for drugs gets jail time

Kristin M. Kraemer, Tri-City HeraldJanuary 4, 2014 

A Pasco man who was on probation when officers busted him for a backpack full of marijuana, methamphetamine and digital scales is going to prison for 10 years.

Hector Barajas, 27, has a history of drug arrests, including a high-speed chase that ended with the discovery of meth in his pocket.

He recently was sentenced in Franklin County Superior Court.

The 10-year term for the backpack bust will be served at the same time as a five-year sentence for the chase arrest.

Barajas pleaded guilty July 30 to two counts of possession with intent to deliver -- one for meth and the other for marijuana. He pleaded guilty to attempting to elude police, meth possession and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm in connection with the chase.

Barajas had convictions for forgery and five drug violations before these two cases.

He was on community supervision Feb. 21 when two officers with the state Department of Corrections checked up on him and found the drugs in a backpack in his car trunk, court documents said. They immediately took him into custody and asked for assistance from a Pasco police officer.

The backpack held a gallon-size plastic bag about three-quarters full of a dried green vegetable matter, a smaller bag with the same green matter, two clear bags with a crystal-type substance and a container with the same crystals, documents said.

Officers also found the scales, smaller plastic bags used for packaging narcotics, two screwdrivers -- one with white residue, and a copper spoon. One of the scales had a white crystal substance on it.

Tests on the drugs confirmed they were pot and meth, documents said.

That drug case was pending when Barajas was arrested early July 16 after failing to stop for an officer who originally was responding to a possible overdose.

Officer Adam Brewster was driving with his emergency lights and sirens on because he believed the overdose case was potentially life-threatening, he wrote in court documents. Dispatchers had reported that paramedics weren't going to go in until officers cleared the scene.

Two vehicles pulled to the side of Lewis Street so Brewster's patrol car could pass, but another car about a half-block in front of him continued on in the left lane and started speeding away, documents said.

Brewster said the car got up to 80 mph and continued to go faster in the 45 mph zone, so he started to pursue it as the car headed for Highway 395.

The car swerved across both southbound lanes and often straddled them as it drove over the blue bridge into Kennewick, where Brewster said he eventually backed off so Kennewick police could take over.

Officers followed the car into a cul-de-sac and saw Barajas park in a driveway and try to run.

He was caught and identified himself, with Brewster reportedly confirming it was Barajas based on previous contacts.

Along with meth in Barajas' pocket, police found a pistol wedged between the driver seat and the door jamb after Barajas left the door open.

-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 582-1531; kkraemer@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @KristinMKraemer

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