Fresno State student and gymnastics instructor face drug charges

KETTLEMAN CITY , Calif.

Investigators say the suspects left Fresno headed for Santa Barbara with hundreds of prescription drugs in their car. But they were stopped and arrested near Kettleman City.

A lockbox is full of thousands of dollars worth of illegal prescription medications seized by the Kings County Sheriff's Office. The box contains hundreds of pills, illegal drugs and a knife.

Cmdr. Dave Putnam said, "There was Xanax and Soma and Oxycontin and some very strong hallucinogenic drugs; hallucinogenic mushrooms and just a large quantity of these pills that have a high street value."

The discovery came Friday night, at the 76 gas station in Kettleman City, when investigators say they found 19-year-old Fresno State student Maged Shaw and 21-year-old Amanda Hardwick high on marijuana. Shaw has a prescription for medicinal marijuana.

Employees here at the 76 told Action News off-camera that they saw the suspects pull into the parking lot here, park and smoke marijuana they also said the suspects seemed very intoxicated.

Deputies searched the car and found the large lockbox of pills and drugs. Sheriff's investigators say Shaw was being paid to transport the drugs from Fresno State to UC Santa Barbara. Hardwick was arrested for having a bottle of the drug Xanax, which was not prescribed to her.

We spoke to Hardwick at United Gymnastics Academy in Hanford, where she instructs children. She did not comment on the charges.

Cmdr. Dave Putnam adds, "It is shocking to us but it seems to be that this is a trend that more and more prescription medication is being abused it's easy to get a hold of by young people."

Narcotics investigators are also noticing that drug abusers are now combining multiple prescription drugs to get a bigger high -- namely Oxycontin, Xanax and the sleeping pill Soma -- all of which were found in the suspect's car.

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