On 03-14-2012, approximately 3:45 p.m. the California Highway Patrol (C.H.P.) notified local law enforcement that a 2006 Red Hyundai sedan was just reported stolen from the Stafford area of Humboldt County and a C.H.P. Officer was enroute to take a report.
At approximately 4:00 p.m. a Humboldt County Deputy Sheriff was driving southbound on U.S. 101 near Twelfth St., Fortuna when he spotted a vehicle matching the description heading northbound on US 101.
The deputy exited the freeway at Twelfth St, Fortuna and re-entered the freeway northbound, catching up to the vehicle as it exited the freeway at the Palmer Blvd exit. The vehicle continued northbound on Tompkins Hill Road and drove into a driveway in the 700 block of Tomkins Hill road, attempting to avoid the deputy. The deputy conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle.
The deputy contacted the driver of the vehicle who identified himself as Donald Lee Lester, 26 years old, from Eureka. When the deputy told Lester the reason for the stop he stated, “I did not steal the car. I was told to drive a pound of marijuana to Eureka.”
The deputy ran a warrant check on Lester and learned he was in searchable probation and had outstanding warrants for vandalism, disturbing the peace, stealing a vehicle, driving under the influence and possession of a syringe. Lester was arrested on the warrants. The deputy searched the vehicle Lester was driving and located suspected methamphetamine and a pound of marijuana. Lester was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility. At the Humboldt County Correctional Facility Correctional officers located five one hundred dollar bills that were determined to be counterfeit in Lester’s wallet. Lester was booked on the arrest warrants and fresh charges of transportation of marijuana, methamphetamine, driving on a suspended driver license and possession on counterfeit currency. The California Highway Patrol was investigating the vehicle theft and indicated if the car was determined to be stolen they would be submitting a case to the Humboldt County District Attorneys office requesting additional charges.
Anyone with information for the Sheriffs Office regarding this case or criminal related activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539. If you live in the City Limits of Eureka the Eureka Police Problem Oriented Policing Unit can be reached at 707-441-4373