Traffic Stop in Alturas Leads to Major Drug Bust and Arrest of Felony Fugitive


In the early hours of Sunday, July 7, 2024, a routine traffic stop in Alturas led to the arrest of two individuals on multiple charges. Deputies initially stopped the vehicle for expired registration at approximately 4:40 am. The driver, Arthur Craig Valenzuela, 63, of Van Nuys, California, was found to have a felony warrant for his arrest from Los Angeles County due to violations of his Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) terms.

Upon further investigation, deputies discovered the female passenger, Alicia Marie Messoria, 48, of Cedarville, California, had around 2 ounces of methamphetamine. Further investigation revealed the vehicle had fraudulent license plates and was reported stolen.

Valenzuela and Messoria were promptly arrested and booked into the Modoc County Jail. Valenzuela faces charges including possession of a stolen vehicle, transportation of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for sale, and his PRCS violation warrant. He is being held on $110,000 bail.

Messoria’s charges include possession of a controlled substance for sale, transportation of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia. She is held on $26,000 bail.

Both suspects are scheduled for arraignment Tuesday, July 9, 2024.


Photo provided by Modoc County Sheriff’s Office