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Sheriff's bust four in Merced for meth possession and other charges

The Merced Sheriff’s Office said it arrested four suspects in a meth investigation in Merced.

On Friday, Oct. 15, around 8:45 p.m., the Sheriff’s Office STAR Team served a search warrant in the 2000 block of Ashby Road in a trailer park. The warrant came after a two-week investigation into the sales of methamphetamine, and the team hit the house and arrested four suspects.

Arrested were Robert Christensen, 24; Santiago Delgado, 40; Yolanda Birrueta, 32; and Misty Mudget, 35. All are from Merced.

When the team hit the house, according to Deputy Tom MacKenzie, Christensen and Delgado were found in the back bedroom in a cloud of meth smoke with the door wide open. Playing in the living room were an 11-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl--Birrueta’s children.

When deputies searched the house, they found about two and a half ounces of methamphetamine, packaging materials, scales and about three grams of marijuana, MacKenzie said.

All suspects were taken into custody, and the children were turned over to Child Protective Services, according to MacKenzie.

Delgado is a deported felon who has since returned to the Merced area. He was booked on charges of possession and possession for sale of meth, child endangerment, possession for sale of marijuana and maintaining a residence for the purpose of selling narcotics; he remains without bail on an immigration hold.

Christensen neglected to tell detectives about the meth he had hidden in the inside sole of his shoe, so when it was discovered at the jail, he had an additional charge of bringing drugs into a jail along with possession of meth, maintaining a house for the purpose of selling narcotics, child endangerment and remains on $90,000 bail.

Birrueta has been charged with possession for sale of marijuana, child endangerment and maintaining a house for selling narcotics and remains on $80,000 bail. Mudget remains on $20,000 bail for maintaining a house for selling narcotics.