Nicolas Cendoya, Kyndall Jack Again Off the Hook for $160k Trabuco Canyon Rescue Tab

See Update No. 2 on page 2 about the Orange County Board of Supervisors deciding behind closed doors not to charge the rescued hikers for the $160,000 in various government costs.

See Update No. 1 on the next page with the county considering sticking the teens with the tab if a sheriff's department investigation concludes they were on drugs.


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Nicolas Cendoya, the Costa Mesa 19-year-old who along with 18-year-old friend Kyndall Jack got lost and sparked a massive search in Trabuco Canyon last month, has been charged with felony possession of methamphetamine found in his car during the hike, according to authorities.

He is scheduled to be arraigned May 22 in Santa Ana.

Jack, who said upon her release from the hospital the ordeal would prompt her to make changes in her life, has not been charged with a crime.

While deputies on April 2 were searching for information on Cendoya, who went missing with Jack on Easter Sunday, they discovered methamphetamine, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

A City News Service report has a district attorney's office spokesperson alleging 497 milligrams of meth were found.

Both Jack and Cendoya talked of hallucinating during their five-day ordeal. After his rescue, Cendoya talked a lot about God and becoming a firefighter so he could rescue others, a dream that could be dashed with a felony holding rap on one's record.

Earlier today, we Navel Gazed about the search and rescue operation costing government agencies $160,000.

Trabuco Canyon Rescue Cost County $160,000

County Supervisor Todd Spitzer, whose sprawling district includes Trabuco Canyon, has launched an investigation into whether Jack and Cendoya should be liable for the rescue costs.

"Why do I have to pay for someone's negligence?" Spitzer asks in that post.

Asked Tuesday by KNBC/Channel 4 if he was on drugs during the hike, Cendoya reportedly replied, "Absolutely not."

UPDATE NO. 1, MAY 2, 2:58 P.M.: The Orange County Sheriff's Department has released a statement indicating county leaders are looking into whether Jack and Cendoya should pony up rescue costs if it is determined the teens were on drugs when they got lost in Trabuco Canyon:

The Search and Rescue Operation of Lost Hikers in Trabuco Canyon

SANTA ANA, CA - (May 2, 2013) - The Orange County Sheriff's Department's primary focus during this incident was to locate and rescue the missing hikers. As a component of that mission, various investigative details were brought in to assist with interviews and intelligence gathering that would help in locating them as quickly as possible. Previous statements relating to this operation focused on the rescue and safety of the hikers, not on any potential criminal acts.

Once both hikers were located, rescued, and received medical treatment, subsequent interviews of both individuals were completed and additional investigative follow-up was conducted. The case, which included narcotics found during a vehicle search, was presented to the District Attorney's Office for filing considerations.

The County is evaluating the emergency response to this incident to determine if costs should be recovered from the hikers. That evaluation will include whether or not drug use was a factor in them becoming lost, thus necessitating the rescue effort by public safety personnel. Regardless of the factors associated with the hikers becoming lost, the Sheriff's Department is proud of the diligent efforts of the personnel who successfully located them and returned them safely home.

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89 comments
Thomas Bridges
Thomas Bridges

Most of these comments are just erroneous. They are kids that got lost and that's why these services are there in the first place. If you're pissed about paying high taxes, get the fuck out of California.

Lorenzo Esteban
Lorenzo Esteban

If they would of been charged that money im sure these fucktards would of filed for BK.

Reginald Durant
Reginald Durant

That is crap! anyone knows that if they had just walked for about 30 minuted in any direction they would have either run into houses, or be able to see houses to know which way to hike out! The trail they were on was only a two hour hike trail. They and their parents shoudl have to apologize on tv and pay all the costs of their drug induced illegal adventure

Michael Moon
Michael Moon

If every person that was lost had to pay for their rescue....

Bob Snyder
Bob Snyder

Please please stop calling them hikers.

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

"Orange County Board of Supervisors deciding behind closed doors not to charge the rescued hikers for the $160,000 in various government costs."

I guess astronomical hypocrisy finally gets to people at some point. Signs of a conscience in Orange County, CA?

Let's see, like all Hispanic gang members I was always good at math. Assuming a non-linear relationship: 

$160,000 dollars for a few days. 

$160,000,000.00 dollars for 15+ years. 

Si? No? 


Jeff Babiak
Jeff Babiak

If they had to pay it would set precedent. If that is the case everytime someone is rescued they should be charged. If they charged for stupidity, most people would be broke. The rescue agencies are paid to rescue people. Even when they are not. They practice for it all the time. I am sure if you broke it down, most of that $160,000 is money that would have been spent anyway.

Rick Hale
Rick Hale

I'm thinking it's willful and intentional. More of OC Weeklys pathetic attempt to remain edgy.

Fabian Rodriguez
Fabian Rodriguez

So? Congress takes millions everyday and they don't pay taxes -_-

Ernie Coshow
Ernie Coshow

They should have to pay the money and do some jail time for drugs

Steve SanFilipo
Steve SanFilipo

And in my very experienced opinion, the way they were acting on the 911 call, and they way they described their ordeal after the fact, suggests that they weren't just on weed. My opinion is that they were on some sort of hallucinogens such as mushrooms or acid.

Sandy Baumgardner
Sandy Baumgardner

The $160K taxpayer tab pales in comparison to what that deputy---who fell 60', seriously injuring himself in the search/rescue effort---will be enduring. :-( The half-gram of meth in the care was but a smoking gun. There is no telling what else these two had on board when they threw on the party hats, and threw caution to the wind that Sunday afternoon. They're lucky to be alive.

Cynthia Morelock
Cynthia Morelock

Thank you Casey Miller!!!!! Love OC weekly but someone doesn't have a job while whomever wrote this was allowed to post "don't got to pay"

Magdalena DelReal
Magdalena DelReal

Dumb-asses should pay. Why did they go off the trails for to smoke out, really.

Flipper
Flipper

Hey Kobe, how about not using your mother's house a a personal storage facility. When I moved out of my mother's house, she told me to take my crap with me or it would be on the curb. This guy is being very petty with his parents. Kobe would NEVER have made it to the NBA without his paretns love, support, his father's coaching at a very young age, his parents taking him to practice, paying for sports equipment etc. Kobe's dad put a basketball in his hands at age three. I guess Kobe really thinks he such a stellar individual that he could have just walked onto a basketball court at age 11 and started shooting hoops without any prior coaching..

All of the discord that Kobe has with is parents can be traced back to the fact that Kobe's parents hate and  approve of his wife. Kobe seems to have a lot of anger towards his parents for some reason and marrying a girl that they hate is his way of making a statement. Kobe also recently rubbed his wife into their faces when his flew in some Italian chef for her birthday. I highly doubt that Kobe would really want to be with Vanessa if his parents loved and approved of her. Being with that girl is Kobe's one giant "F-YOU" to his parents.

Ironic
Ironic

Where's "Vegandawg23" defending these two lost and found idiots now? 

n2bigmuscle
n2bigmuscle

They will just go bankrupt as they are of legal age and probabaly don't have any assets.  The county should just leave it alone. 

Kevin Bullat
Kevin Bullat

I knew something was up. I'd partied there in the mid-70's many times on acid and never got lost. Amatures!

bryansix
bryansix

When I first heard this story, I thought this Nicolas Cendoya guy was a dumb as a box of rocks. Now that I hear that he is a meth addict, my original suspicions are confirmed.

949girl
949girl topcommenter

WHAT A SHOCKER!!!!!!

Diana Grant Thomas
Diana Grant Thomas

after seeing their interviews at the hospital, i knew they were druggies....losers!!

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

I thought it for sure would be shrooms. I mean, wandering off into the wilderness -- or at least an undeveloped area -- was a sort of right of passage in my youth. But meth?  I'm so out of touch with the younger generation -- thankfully.

Greg Chavez
Greg Chavez

No problem Brian... In my opinion, it's a very unfair law.

rctocm
rctocm

F-ups like these are the reason I didn't go out and help in the search. I knew, as pretty much everyone did, that something was wayyyy off here. So, who is the supplier?

Edward Fabio
Edward Fabio

I think most people knew they were up to no good.

Brian Bracken
Brian Bracken

Oh. Thanks Greg. It seemed like such a small amount even if they were trying to make it seem huge by saying 497mg.

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

@Ironic Right here. Sad that you want to ruin two kid's lives because they wanted to do something everyone does and got lost. Yes, I realize that there's some piece of paper out there that says you're not supposed to do drugs. Doesn't change the fact that our taxes already paid these people's salaries and they were just doing their job. I'd rather have those cops out there looking for kids than bothering people trying to drive to work in the carpool lane. You people really have your priorities out of whack.

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