Garden Grove Undercover Case : Drug Inquiry Pays Off With Arrests in Norco

Times Staff Writer

A two-month Garden Grove police investigation ended at a Norco restaurant with the arrests of three men on suspicion of selling an undercover narcotics officer 1 1/2 pounds of cocaine worth about $250,000, authorities said Friday.

Michael Leslie Dickson, 24, of Norco; Charles Edwin Miller, 24, of Riverside, and William Keith McLain, 23, of Corona, were booked into Orange County Jail on suspicion of selling a controlled substance, according to Charlotte Carrido, a Garden Grove police spokeswoman. Bail for each was set at $25,000.

Lt. Ken Adair said the investigation began in January, when an undercover officer with Garden Grove's special investigations unit bought a jar of Quaaludes from Dickson and told the Norco plumber that he might be interested in purchasing cocaine in the future.

Suspect Calls Police

On Wednesday, Dickson allegedly called the officer and told him he had "the ability of (obtaining) a quantity of cocaine that would interest us," Adair said, adding that they agreed to meet Thursday at a Norco restaurant.

The officer, whom police did not identify, was introduced to Miller there and the three men allegedly negotiated the sale. The officer agreed to purchase 1 1/2 pounds of cocaine, Carrido said.

"Miller was seen meeting McLain in the parking lot of the restaurant, where McLain was seen placing a briefcase into Miller's vehicle," said Carrido, reading from a prepared statement. "The officer was shown the contents of the brief case, which contained approximately 1 1/2 pounds of high-grade cocaine with a street value of $250,000."

The undercover officer and other investigators hiding in the parking lot arrested the three men without resistance at about 2:30 p.m., Adair said.

Police added that an additional three ounces of cocaine was found in Miller's car during a subsequent search.

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