Rescued OC Hiker Charged With Felony Meth Possession
One of the two young hikers who recently were rescued after being lost for four days in Orange County's Trabuco Canyon has a new ordeal ahead, after being charged for having meth inside his vehicle.
19-year-old Nicholas Cendoya and his friend, 18-year-old Kyndall Jack, had met up for an Easter Sunday hike, but ultimately became separated and stranded in the rugged terrain. His vehicle was searched by authorities after it was found at the recreation site where the pair had set off on their outing.
Cendoya was the first to be located and rescued. He told reporters after he was hospitalized for treatment about what he went through: "I was just out unconscious. I can’t even tell you when I woke up... [Afterward] I was in lucid dreams, lucid hallucinations, every single day."
Perhaps the hallucinations were less organic in origin: Orange County sheriff's investigators found 497 milligrams of methamphetamine in his vehicle as they were searching it for clues of the whereabouts, according to City News Service.
Tuesday, Cendoya was hit with one felony count of possession of a controlled substance, said Farrah Emami of the District Attorney's Office.
Cendoya is expected to be arraigned May 22.
The rescue effort to retrieve Cendoya and Jack cost taxpayers $160,377.81, according to OC officials. It is not clear to what extent—if any—the two young would-be hikers will be held liable for the cost.