Riverbank councilman, assembly candidate arrested on drug charges

RIVERBANK — Jesse James White, a city councilman and Republican candidate for state Assembly, was arrested Friday afternoon on narcotics charges during a routine probation search at his home.

White was arrested on suspicion of possession of marijuana and cocaine along with violating probation, said Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson.

It was unclear how much marijuana and cocaine was found. Christianson said the amount of drugs found was enough to be considered for personal use, but not enough for distribution or sales.

Authorities on Friday were conducting routine probation searches, an enforcement effort done to monitor people on probation.

White was on a list of probationers to be searched. Christianson said the terms of White's probation allow authorities to search him for narcotics.

In 2007, White was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to court records. He pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of "wet and reckless" driving.

In that case, court records show, White initially was charged with possession of marijuana. He was sentenced to three years of informal probation and a six-week education program.

Christianson said marijuana and cocaine were found in White's home and marijuana was discovered in his vehicle.

White was being held at the Stanislaus County Jail on Friday evening. His bail was set at $10,000.

White was elected to the Riverbank City Council in November 2008. He is one of six Republicans on the June 8 ballot seeking the party's nomination in the 25th Assembly District.

White has been a lightning rod in Riverbank politics. A grand jury last year recommended that he step down from office because he was not yet registered to vote when he applied to run for his council seat.

That report preceded a failed effort to recall him.

Riverbank City Manager Rich Holmer said he did not know whether the arrest would affect White's ability to serve on the council. Holmer has asked the city attorney to check.

Dave White, Jesse James White's grandfather and a fellow member of the City Council, said he had not heard about the arrest when The Bee called.

Bee Assistant City Editor Adam Ashton contributed to this report.

Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at or 578-2394.