Following a two month investigation by a prescription drug task force in Ventura County, California, detectives conducted a traffic stop that led to the suspect’s arrest. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit and the Ventura County Sheriff’s East County Street Narcotics Unit concluded, during their joint investigation, that 31-year-old Ryan Tallmadge had supplied Los Angeles and Ventura residents with Xanax and MDMA for several months. Inside Tallmadge’s car, the detectives found 1,700 Xanax pills and 15 grams of MDMA.
Ventura County authorities booked Tallmadge at the Ventura County Sheriff’s East County Jail on one count of possession for sale (aka possession with intent) of a controlled substance (MDMA) and one count of possession for sale of a designated controlled substance (alprazolam).
After the booking, detectives executed a signed search warrant at the 34-year-old’s Santa Monica residence. The house search resulted in an even greater discovery by the detectives; inside Tallmadge’s residence, the detectives seized 141 grams (5 ounces) of MDMA, 10,264 alprazolam pills, and a “large sum” of cash. The cash, detectives announced, came from Tallmadge’s narcotic sales in the area.
Detective Corey Nicholas of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office explained that the detectives working the case had not yet discovered how Tallmadge had collected 10,264 alprazolam pills. Detective Nichols explained that Tallmadge had probably ordered the drugs from a vendor on the darknet. “We haven’t found out for sure but I’m assuming he ordered it from out of the country,” Nicholas added. “Based on the quantities and types, that’s my best guess so far.” He said the pills likely came from India or China.
None of the police statements indicated the pills were anything but legitimate pharmaceutical pills. Det. Nicholas gave his “best guess” when suggesting that Tallmadge ordered them from India or China. His guess may have been accurate given that identifying the country of origin of a prescription pill is a much easier task than finding a specific clandestine laboratory. A dead giveaway, for instance, would be if the pills had imprints matching those on Indian “Restyl” or “Aldix-1” alprazolam pills. A safe preliminary conclusion, in that case, would be that the someone in India shipped the pills to Tallmadge.
Shortly after the arrest, the District Attorney’s office reviewed the case. The office filed one felony: possession with intent to sell (the MDMA) and one possession with intent to sell a designated controlled substance (the alprazolam). One day after the District Attorney’s office elected to file felony charges, authorities released Tallmadge from the Ventura County jail.