Atwater man arrested with more than $1,000 in meth, police say

A routine traffic stop over the weekend ended with an Atwater man behind bars on suspicion of felony methamphetamine possession, the Atwater Police Department reported.

Daniel Vidales, 54, was arrested Friday after police found more than 12 grams of suspected methamphetamine in his pants pocket, Lt. Samuel Joseph said. Officers estimated the street value of the suspected methamphetamine at more than $1,200.

Police stopped Vidales in the 1000 block of Elm Avenue on suspicion of talking on his cellphone while driving, police said.

Officers learned Vidales was on probation and searched him and his vehicle and found the suspected narcotic, Joseph said.

He was booked about 1:30 a.m. Friday at Merced County jail without bail on suspicion of methamphetamine possession.

Vidales pleaded guilty April 2 to a felony count of drug possession and was placed on probation for three years. In December, he pleaded guilty to a felony drug possession charge and was ordered to serve probation, according to Merced Superior Court records.