Two Turlock men are prison bound for their roles in a drug operation that was busted by the Turlock Police Department last year in a raid that resulted in the seizure of half a pound of methamphetamine and more than $18,000 in cash.
Frank Lee Cromer, 52, of Turlock, was convicted on April 24 of two felony counts of possession of a controlled substance for sale, one count of felon in possession of a firearm, and one count of possession of a short-barreled shotgun. Cromer also admitted a weapons enhancement and a prior conviction for possession of a controlled substance for sale, according to the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office.
Co-defendant Claude Stanley Smith, 66, of Turlock, was convicted of one count of possession of a controlled substance for sales and one count of felon in possession of a firearm.
Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Dawna Reeves sentenced Cromer 10 years in state prison. Smith will be sentenced on June 10, and is expected to receive a sentence of two years in state prison.
On May 14, 2014, Turlock Police officers served a search warrant at 501 Wolfe Avenue. At the home officers located a safe inside the house that contained a half-pound of methamphetamine, a loaded revolver and a substantial amount of cash. Both defendants were in possession of a key to the safe.
Officers also located a trunk with a substantial amount of cash. In total, more than $18,000 was found at the residence. In addition, officers located a loaded revolver and a short-barreled shotgun under the cushions of a couch, according to the district attorney’s office.
Both Cromer and Smith were booked into Stanislaus County Jail and were released on bail. While out on bail, Turlock Police officers performed a search of Cromer on Oct. 22, 2014, and found him in possession of a digital scale and a set of keys. The keys were traced back to a storage shed, where officers found a safe that one of Cromer’s keys opened. Inside the safe were 18 bags of methamphetamine, each weighing about one ounce, according to the district attorney’s office.
The district attorney’s office noted that while the officers were weighing the bags, Cromer said in a joking manner, “500 grams. But I’m not admitting to anything.”