Fresno traffic stop leads to discovery of meth lab at retirement community

Monday, June 16, 2014
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A traffic stop in Fresno led police to the discovery of a meth lab at a senior citizen village on Saturday night.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A man living in a senior citizen village is accused of cooking meth in his apartment.

Fresno police say they made a routine traffic stop on Robert Short, 64, at Olive and Rowell on Saturday night and found he had meth in his car. Investigators then went to Short's apartment near Willow and Butler, where they say he was cooking and distributing drugs.

Neighbors who live in the California League-Fresno Village say their retirement community is quiet and safe. So naturally neighbors were appalled to hear one of the tenants is in the Fresno County Jail for dealing and cooking meth in this complex.

"It's shocking, I would never guess that anything like that would go on at a senior citizen village," said Robin Schramek.

When Action News knocked on Short's door, no one answered. But there were signs all over the door that demand privacy and no visitors. Neighbors say despite the tight-knit community there they didn't know Short, who kept to himself.

"I do know that he is a new tenant, maybe three or four months ago," said Schramek.

When officers pulled Short over it was for a routine traffic stop. Since he's on supervised release for previous meth sales they searched his car.

"When the officers searched the car they located four ounces of methamphetamine in the car, which is a lot of methamphetamine, so that's consistent with somebody who's selling," said Fresno police Lt. Joe Gomez.

After searching his apartment, they found a half pound of meth, heroin and materials for a meth lab.

"Just shocking someone that age would do that, but actually a perfect place to do it, right? Retirement village, who would suspect it going on there?" said Gomez.

Police say the street value of the meth Short was carrying is close to $1,700. They also found scales and baggies in his car for the sale of meth.