Cocaine-like bags found in riverbed prompt mystery and intrigue
Det. Adam Dorman investigates the finding of suspicious packages resembling a cocaine shipment inside a Canyon Country garage on Feb. 2, 2018. Austin Dave/The Signal
By Jim Holt and Austin Dave
Friday, February 2nd, 2018

Rick Steinbruecker finds many treasures among the trash left in the Santa Clara River.

In 2006, he found $15,000 in crisp U.S. savings bonds and tracked down the rightful owner five years later.

It was his latest find, however, that kept the intrepid treasure hunter up at night.

The Canyon Country resident stumbled upon what he thought was potential mystery and intrigue this week — only to find it was just misleadingly packaged baking supplies.

Det. Adam Dorman investigates the finding of suspicious packages resembling a cocaine shipment inside a Canyon Country garage on Feb. 2, 2018. Austin Dave/The Signal

This tale opens the way many fast-paced action thrillers do — an average guy walks around and stumbles upon eight packs of white powder wrapped with duct tape.

A little more than a week ago, he found the transparent bags of powder in an area off of Soledad Canyon Road where it dips under Highway 14.

He said he flagged down a busy patrol deputy with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station but was told: “I don’t have time for this.”

“So I brought it back to my place and put it in the garage,” the man said. “Then I went on the computer to see how I could test it.”

Not having any luck figuring out if 10 pounds of flour were sitting in his garage, worth about $10 — or 10 pounds of cocaine worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, the man said he called over a California Highway Patrol officer who was his neighbor’s son.

“His eyes almost popped out of his head,” Steinbruecker said.

The off-duty officer and The Signal advised the junk collector-treasure hunter to notify the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station about the find.

On Friday morning, Steinbruecker walked into the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, showed a photo of the eight seized bags of powder to a deputy, who then filled out a report and dispatched a detective to Steinbruecker’s home.

The dispatched investigator seized the bags from the man, advising him that testing would take at least a day to complete.

Det. Adam Dorman investigates the finding of suspicious packages resembling a cocaine shipment inside a Canyon Country garage on Feb. 2, 2018. Austin Dave/The Signal

Steinbruecker was on pins and needles, not knowing if he owned enough flour to bake a cake or enough cocaine to spark the sort of serious discord in the drug trade that usually makes for a good action movie.

It could either be a story for the Food Network or the premise of a fast-paced motion picture thriller, he believed.

Late Friday afternoon, Steinbruecker got the results of the testing done by experienced drug officers — it was definitely not drugs.

He was happy to trade the potential intrigue and mystery for a good night’s sleep.

About the author

Jim and Austin Jim and Ausitn

Jim Holt and Austin Dave

Cocaine-like bags found in riverbed prompt mystery and intrigue

Rick Steinbruecker finds many treasures among the trash left in the Santa Clara River.

In 2006, he found $15,000 in crisp U.S. savings bonds and tracked down the rightful owner five years later.

It was his latest find, however, that kept the intrepid treasure hunter up at night.

The Canyon Country resident stumbled upon what he thought was potential mystery and intrigue this week — only to find it was just misleadingly packaged baking supplies.

Det. Adam Dorman investigates the finding of suspicious packages resembling a cocaine shipment inside a Canyon Country garage on Feb. 2, 2018. Austin Dave/The Signal

This tale opens the way many fast-paced action thrillers do — an average guy walks around and stumbles upon eight packs of white powder wrapped with duct tape.

A little more than a week ago, he found the transparent bags of powder in an area off of Soledad Canyon Road where it dips under Highway 14.

He said he flagged down a busy patrol deputy with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station but was told: “I don’t have time for this.”

“So I brought it back to my place and put it in the garage,” the man said. “Then I went on the computer to see how I could test it.”

Not having any luck figuring out if 10 pounds of flour were sitting in his garage, worth about $10 — or 10 pounds of cocaine worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, the man said he called over a California Highway Patrol officer who was his neighbor’s son.

“His eyes almost popped out of his head,” Steinbruecker said.

The off-duty officer and The Signal advised the junk collector-treasure hunter to notify the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station about the find.

On Friday morning, Steinbruecker walked into the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, showed a photo of the eight seized bags of powder to a deputy, who then filled out a report and dispatched a detective to Steinbruecker’s home.

The dispatched investigator seized the bags from the man, advising him that testing would take at least a day to complete.

Det. Adam Dorman investigates the finding of suspicious packages resembling a cocaine shipment inside a Canyon Country garage on Feb. 2, 2018. Austin Dave/The Signal

Steinbruecker was on pins and needles, not knowing if he owned enough flour to bake a cake or enough cocaine to spark the sort of serious discord in the drug trade that usually makes for a good action movie.

It could either be a story for the Food Network or the premise of a fast-paced motion picture thriller, he believed.

Late Friday afternoon, Steinbruecker got the results of the testing done by experienced drug officers — it was definitely not drugs.

He was happy to trade the potential intrigue and mystery for a good night’s sleep.

Upcoming Events

Jan
12
Fri
all-day Domes – Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library
Domes – Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library
Jan 12 – May 11 all-day
Domes - Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Local resident Naomi Young, is the artist featured in the latest exhibit at the Old Town Newhall Library. The exhibit features original paintings and multimedia by Young, an artist born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel,[...]
Feb
1
Thu
all-day “The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarit... @ Valencia Library
“The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarit... @ Valencia Library
Feb 1 – Jun 1 all-day
“The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarita,” Art Exhibit @ Valencia Library  | Santa Clarita | California | United States
“THE GOLDEN OAKS OF SANTA CLARITA” ART EXHIBIT BY BRAD SERGI ON DISPLAY AT THE VALENCIA LIBRARY Library hours: Mon-Thu 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Fri 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sat 10 a.m. – 5[...]
Feb
14
Wed
all-day Tickets Available Now for 41st A... @ Dodger Stadium
Tickets Available Now for 41st A... @ Dodger Stadium
Feb 14 – May 12 all-day
Tickets Available Now for 41st Annual SCV Dodger Day @ Dodger Stadium | Los Angeles | California | United States
SANTA CLARITA DODGER DAY TICKETS ON SALE NOW! Tickets Start at $25 and Benefit Local Schools and Non-Profits It’s time to step up to the plate! The Santa Clarita City Council invites residents to purchase[...]
Apr
19
Thu
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 19 – Apr 22 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
Apr
20
Fri
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 20 – Apr 23 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
7:00 pm Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Apr 20 @ 7:00 pm
Hart High School Presents 'Bye, Bye Birdie' @ Hart High school Auditorium | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Spring Musical Coming April 2018! Hart High Theatre is proud to present Bye Bye Birdie! April 19, 20, 27 & 28 @ 7pm April 28 & 29 @ 1pm When the draft selects rock star[...]
Apr
21
Sat
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 21 – Apr 24 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
10:00 am Astronomy Day @ Valencia Library
Astronomy Day @ Valencia Library
Apr 21 @ 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
The Local Group Astronomy Club and The Santa Clarita Public Library present our free annual Astronomy Day Celebration. We will be at the Valencia branch of the Santa Clarita Public Library from 10am to 3pm.[...]
10:00 am Resource Parents Needed to Foste... @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222
Resource Parents Needed to Foste... @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222
Apr 21 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Resource Parents Needed to Foster or Foster-Adopt a Child @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222 | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Adoption is a meaningful way for individuals and couples to fulfill their dream of parenting.  There are approximately 64,000 children in foster care in California.  Los Angeles County’s foster care population exceeds 21,000 children with[...]
10:00 am The City of Lancaster’s 27th Ann... @ Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park
The City of Lancaster’s 27th Ann... @ Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park
Apr 21 @ 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
The City of Lancaster’s 27th Annual California Poppy Festival, Sat & Sun @ Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park | Lancaster | California | United States
On April 21 and 22, the City of Lancaster will host the 27th annual California Poppy Festival™ at Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park (43063 10th Street West). Drawing more than 40,000 attendees and spanning 35[...]