Cigar Box co-owner facing drug, weapons charges
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A routine door check at a Marysville bar and tobacco shop ended early Wednesday with one of the store co-owners behind bars after police found methamphetamine, steroids and firearms inside the establishment.
Charles Wooten, 42, whose family owns the Cigar Box in the 300 block of D Street, was booked into the Yuba County Jail on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance, possession of a narcotic controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition. Bail was set at $25,000.
"Officers on patrol (about 4 a.m.) noticed the back door open and went to make sure it was secure," police Sgt. Chris Sachs said.
Several burglaries have been reported in the area in recent months, Sachs said.
"Officers conducted a preliminary search of the building for persons as they were investigating a possible burglary," Sachs said. "Officers noticed a firearm and suspected methamphetamine in plain view while in the establishment."
Wooten, who lives just behind the bar, arrived a short time later and was quickly detained for questioning.
Police searched the business and Wooten's home and seized 15.4 grams of methamphetamine, four firearms, drug paraphernalia and a metal box containing several vials of suspected steroids, authorities said.
The methamphetamine and one weapon were found inside the bar, while the steroids and other weapons were found in Wooten's home, Sachs said. Following the arrest Wednesday, the bar and smoke shop was closed for several hours, but reopened in the afternoon.
The bar has operated in Marysville under various owners since at least 1975, according to the Yuba County Assessor's Office.
Wooten's parents, Ronald and Beverly, purchased the popular watering hole in 1996, according to city business records. Ronald Wooten is a former Marysville councilman and mayor.
Though the bar is owned by Wooten's parents, police said they are not part of the criminal investigation.
The downtown Marysville bar scene has taken a hit recently because of three establishments that have closed. Knockouts Sports Bar and Grill closed in September after a fire ravaged the building in the 200 block of C Street; Cowboys Bar and Grill closed earlier this year following a burglary; and PreGame Bar and Grill in the Watermarke shopping center has shut its doors.
It is not clear how Wooten's arrest may affect the bar. Store employees refused comment Wednesday.
A neighboring business owner was surprised to hear of Wooten's arrest.
"We've known the family for six years and have been regular patrons of the Cigar Box and still go there occasionally for a beer after work," said Dinah Parks, owner of Dinah's On D Street, a bookstore across the street. "As business owners, they're absolutely wonderful neighbors."
Wooten was still in custody as of Wednesday evening.
CONTACT Rob Parsons at email@example.com or 749-4785. Find him on Facebook at /ADcrimebeat or on Twitter at @ADcrimebeat.