Before Anaheim's Osiel Ruvalcaba-Azpeitia was indicted in what's reportedly Utah's biggest-ever methamphetamine bust--and considering the tweakers in desolate trailers out there, that's saying something--he is said to have told investigators a Mexican man named "Juan" paid him $500 for every pound of drugs he drove from Orange County to Utah, money he desperately needed for college and his mother's surgery. Don't know if that story drew the alleged mule sympathy, but it did win the 24-year-old our ugliest police mugshot of the week "honors." Not that it was easy . . .
Let us take a look at the first runner-up:
Russell New has been accused of trying to enter a locked restroom at a Stanton elementary school Monday morning and, after being asked to leave the campus, being seen several hours later by a mother there with his hands down in his pants. Since she was unsure if New was just scratching himself, deputies let him leave. But they arrested New the next day for allegedly exposing himself at Esther Walter Elementary School. Sheriff's investigators also suspect him of dropping his pants in front of three boys Sunday at a nearby apartment complex and worry there may be other young victims.
Our second runner-up in the ugly police mugshot sweepstakes is Gail Diane Panella-Monestere, the 52-year-old former president of the Parent Teacher Organization at Sun View Elementary School in Huntington Beach. She is accused of embezzling more than $22,000 from school fundraisers.
Let us now take a fuller look at Ruvalcaba-Azpeitia to fully see why he took the ugly award:
He was indicted by a grand jury in Utah this week on federal drug-running counts that could send him to prison for 10 years on up to life. Plus, a $10 million fine. (Sorry, I won't be able to afford paying for that surgery, mom.) He pleaded not guilty in Salt Lake City on Tuesday.
Ruvalcaba-Azpeitia was driving another man's Toyota FJ Cruiser with California license plates Sunday when a West Valley City, Utah, police officer pulled him over. A canine officer sniffed around and found 57 pounds of hidden meth with an estimated street value of $5 million.
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Actually, the cops had been tipped off by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), which as part of a yearlong investigation of Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel had undercover agents arrange to buy the 96 percent-pure meth in the car for $650,000.
A DEA official has reportedly said about 90 percent of all meth in Utah is produced in "super labs" in Mexico. So, for Ruvalocaba-Azpeitia, the federal pen may be better than being hunted down for failing to make his delivery by really fucking scary twin Mexican assassins.
Did you really think I'd make it through this entire item without yet another Breaking Bad reference?