By Gary Meyer
Five Kern County Sheriff’s units and three California Highway Patrol units converged on a house in the 600 block of Pomeroy Trail in Frazier Park with weapons drawn Friday, March 7.
James Bradley Stearns (also known as ‘Brad’ Stearns), 53 was arrested for suspected possession for sales of heroin and methamphetamine.
Kern County Sheriff’s Sergeant Mark Brown said that drugs and other items indicating sales activity were seized in the home. Kern County records show that the home is owned by Stearns.
Stearns was booked into Kern County Sheriff’s Central Receiving Facility in Bakersfield while two others present in the home (a man said to be visiting and a woman) were detained before being released, according to Brown.
Stearns pled no contest in 2002 to charges of possession and purchase of narcotics for sale. He was sentenced to two years in jail, according to court records. In 2010 he pled no contest to possession of a controlled substance for sale and was sentenced to three years in Wasco State Prison.
Among many rumors circulating in 2009 concerning the whereabouts of a missing man named Jukka Hellsten, was an alleged sighting of Hellsten at this same house on Pomeroy Trail just a day or two before Hellsten was found dead in Cuddy Creek about 100 yards from the sheriff’s substation in Frazier Park.
The Kern County Sheriff Coroner’s Office ruled the death an accident, with effects of alcoholism and a trace of methamphetamine found in Hellsten’s system said to have caused his death. But blunt-force head trauma, a skull fracture and hemorrhaging in his brain were said in the coroner’s report to be contributing factors.
Hellsten’s family is still asking questions about what they consider an incomplete investigation of where Jukka was during the 10 days he was missing, and about what may have occurred at Stearns’ home.
Anyone with additional information about what preceded Hellsten’s death in Cuddy Creek between November 2 and 3, 2009 is urged to call The Mountain Enterprise at 661.245.3794.
James Bradley Stearns is scheduled for a hearing on the current round of drug charges on March 21 at the Arvin-Lamont courthouse.
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This is part of the March 14, 2014 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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