Man claims meth is ‘beer salt’ during arrest at Walmart

Contributed Photo/Courtesy GCSO: Christopher Garcia was booked into jail on warrants and drug charges after allegedly claiming meth found in his possession was “beer salt.”

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – Turns out that just being with a person in a store in which that person has been trespassed can lead to your arrest. That is if you also have a warrant and/or illicit substances in your possession.

On Monday, Aug. 3, officers were dispatched to Walmart regarding a man named Robert Mendoza trespassing. Mendoza was previously trespassed from the store due to a shoplifting incident and had an active warrant for his arrest.

After Mendoza was taken into custody, the officer contacted a man and woman in the store’s parking lot who were with Mendoza to make sure they didn’t have any concealed items.

The officer advised the couple appeared “shaky” and were “eager to be away from me” as he asked to see the receipt and requested their names. At that point, the officer learned the man, identified as Christopher Garcia, 33, had an active warrant for his arrest.

While Garcia was being taken into custody, the officer located a bulge in his sock and removed a wad of cash. In the cash wad, one of the $5 bills was folded into a square. The officer opened the bill and located a white, crystal substance consistent with methamphetamine.

When questioned about the substance, Garcia allegedly advised it was “just some beer salt” and then reserved his right to remain silent. The substance later field-tested positive for methamphetamine.

Garcia was arrested and booked into the Graham County Adult Detention Facility on two misdemeanor warrants out of Justice of the Peace District 1, possession of a dangerous drug, and possession of drug paraphernalia.