Oceano methamphetamine dealer arrested

June 3, 2011

Richard Howell

An Oceano man was arrested for possession of methamphetamine for sale after a canine officer alerted Arroyo Grande police that the man had drugs in his car.

Police officers pulled over Richard Allen Howell, 69, on Tuesday for a minor equipment violation and discovered the man was on probation for narcotics offenses. After the canine officer alerted police to an area of the vehicle, officers searched a vent and found a zippered bag with 43.5 grams of meth.

Howell has an extensive criminal record that includes arrests for vehicle theft; obstruction and resisting arrest; receiving stolen property; possession of a dangerous weapon; grand theft; felon in possession of a firearm; domestic violence; false imprisonment; assault with a deadly weapon; violation of parole; reckless driving; and multiple offenses involving being under the influence, possession, transportation and possession for sale of a controlled substance.

Richard Howell was arrested without incident and booked into the San Luis Obispo County Jail for possession of a controlled substance for sale, transportation of a controlled substance and violation of probation.

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Kind of in support of stryder’s comments, viewing things from a persepctive of moral relativism… I do find it interesting the degree to which people will condemn common criminals while continue to pay taxes to and support status quo politicians of a government which commits theft on behalf of others to the tune of trillions of dollars, and alternates between policies of starving out and murdering the citizens of countries whose leaders they don’t like, on a DAILY basis.. Just sayin.

i used to live with this guys i was 16 or 17, hes not a bad guy hes a nice guy with good intentions, but once you get that highh up in the drug game theres no coming out

I’m glad to see some rational talk about drugs and this guy in particular. I have to admit that looking at his record as reported in the story it is a grim picture of a life spent on the edge, at best.

I just got a ticket for not having a properly secured seat belt, that is about the extent of my criminal record. Yet I’ve known Dick Howell for over 25 years though rarely see him, and have not in the last 10 years or so. Despite his sometimes rough exterior and troubles as an ‘outlaw’ he has always struck me as a sensitive and loving person.

His insight into the human condition is extraordinary, as I hope to prove before too long. I have his manuscript of a series of observations, innate wisdom and what he calls ‘Random thoughts’. This work encompasses much of our political system and society, morals and other human factors. After I contact Dick I hope we will pursue publication of his magnificent work. This work will amaze, astound, outrage and comfort those who seek some understanding and sense of the world as we have created it.

So, despite the unflattering picture and record, keep in mind this is a very compassionate and thinking person who just never fell into the little boxes that most of us operate in. He is one who does not ‘suffer fools’ easily and therefore gets in lots of trouble for that. I cannot condone any item of his record but I end by stressing that there is quality and value in this person.

Well, what is rational drug talk for some might be irrational for others; still, I appreciate the character witness. However, be warned, it is a story as old as Adam & Eve – humanity’s fall from grace and all. I just don’t think Mr. Howell was able to learn from his mistakes in time, if at all… which is becoming quite the theme with a lot of people in this world.

@r0y, you can’t expect one to learn from their mistakes when they aren’t given the tools to learn.

@Strider, thanks for the insight, very interesting, I look forward to reading more.

But falling from who’s grace? The norm of society I figure. And I believe in many of our norms, but I also see how others, who don’t, have a place at our table. Our morals are all over the place, so it is quite confusing for anyone to make it in this confusing environment. The young man is told, ‘when a girls says no, that means no’. Yet the ads and movies say ‘go for it, she’ll give in eventually and she wants it anyway’.

Just what is a person to do, how are we to navigate the confusing dictates of a society often gone mad? Many of us toe the line and make it through, others just cannot or will not submit.

There is nothing confusing, only what we put up in front of ourselves. Morality and “norms” are simply actions that follow Nature and Nature’s law (to paraphrase Cicero). Whether one believes in a divine being or not, lex naturalis is defined as obliging us to contribute to the general good of the larger society. It is one of the main driving forces behind the formation of our country, and also behind our laws – beginning with our Constitution.

That said, to answer your question, “Just what is a person to do, how are we to navigate the confusing dictates of a society often gone mad?” I would put this forward:

If it feels wrong, and you inherently know inside yourself that it is wrong, then it is wrong. Consequently, even if it feels right inside, but outwardly is wrong (i.e. someone justifying their bad behavior by saying it felt right), then it is also wrong. Natural moral law is concerned with both exterior and interior acts, also known as action and motive. Simply doing the right thing is not enough; to be truly moral one’s motive must be right as well.

Are there those among us who both feel their harmful motives and actions are right? I’m sure there are – that is where the general whole of society must act on the overwhelming natural instincts that show them the harmful motives and actions to be just that: harmful.

Sorry, didn’t mean to get too deep here, but whenever I see something similar to “it’s all messed up, who’s to say what’s right and wrong” type of argument, I offer up my spiel on Cicero and Natural Law.

Fascinating diversion we’re taking here, and I suppose I started it. I wish things were as simple as rOy points out, I envy anyone if they feel that way, for their world is simple and concise and without all the worry and nail biting I and some others have in trying to figure it all out. Without any scholarly knowledge (just observational) I would love to argue these points exhaustively but I will just throw in one current and devastating categorical example of my side of things.

Politics… Let’s assume that the right wing and left wing are sincere (no bad motives) about their decisions. How about abortion (right to choose vs. not)? Or how about taxation, should we all pay equally or by proportion of worth or income? Death penalty? Speed limits and the penalty for violating same. Why is the age of consent for sex 16; why not 17 or 16 1/2? Why can’t we vote at 10 years old when many decisions made at that age will be in full force in 10 or twenty years when we are adults? Why can’t I threaten the kill the President (even if I have no intention, ability and so on)? Why can’t I kick or kill my own dog; its mine, isn’t it? Can I burn my own house down?

The answers to all these questions are found in our confusing miasma of arbitrary politics, as I think everything else is as well.

I do a lot of things ONLY because society will frown at me for doing differently. Say, what do you all think about the Dalai Lama? Pretty moral and right on guy? Never do or encourage any evil? He was quoted in the recent amazing movie documentary I AM as encouraging all well-intentioned people to ‘think critically’ and put their thoughts to action. I heartily believe in that-but what a cruel joke that is if anyone wants to be happy and accepted by society or anyone in it. So rOy, how do you navigate the treacherous waters of expectations, confusing laws and the irrational demands of others around you?

My feeling is that most of us have two choices: knuckle under or go your own way (and take your punishment for that). Most knuckle under, and often smugly throw insults at those who do not as ‘misfits, outlaws’ and so on.

I forgot my favorite quote, from Cicero.

“Tell the truth and run”

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….the guy’s dangerous to other’s. You can get your minimum daily requirement of insight into life off the fricken web, and not get imprisioned, shot or robbed from this loser.

If ya think about it for a few minutes …. There is really not much difference between this guy and some of the players in the Wallace Group

Whu…huh? One is out to destroy himself, the other is out to defraud other people. A bit of a difference, I’m guessing. Intended victims and all.

We could even go as far as: one is actually selling something of value to those who want it; the other is taking something of value from those who thought they were getting something of value.

Well said.

Roy, seriously? No, you can’t “even go as far as…….actually seeling something of value…. ” The jerk’s a drain on society, fire up the chipper!

No argument from me there; however, some fool who wishes to buy poison is still being sold something of value TO THEM. That’s what I meant. The dealer is selling a desired product to the user. I know it’s not a good product, and a worse decision to use it, but it does not change the fact that it is an agreed upon transaction by the parties involved.

Which is different from the original comment about the Wallace Group defrauding people (i.e. NOT selling a desired product). Anyway, it’s too sensitive an issue to comment so plainly, I do not want to come across as defending a drug dealer by speaking in absolutes.

Age 69?

I once interviews a young man (age 18) in San Francisco who was on probation for selling drugs.

After reaching his trust, he told me that he couldn’t see himself work for $6 hour (minimum wage at the time) there is no chance for life.

He said he makes a lot more money selling drugs (no hard or skilled labor, no nagging supervisor, no maintenance/ operating cost, no tax, no long hours, no stress, no anxiety, and no clock)

A Vice Officer once told me that a Bookie told him to never every say to him that crime does not pay, look at his mansion, yatch and cash.

So how can this Oceano gent start the pursuit of happiness on a law abiding and productive path to society??????????????? What can he do??????????

Albert Einstein was a struggling father in a difficult marriage who could’nt get a teaching job or a higher education. His sucess came from question conventional BS.

We will be necessarily be paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to prosecute him and about $50,000 a year to incarcerate him.

Poor guy looks like someone forgot to tell him it was his birthday. He’ll be placed in jail then let go because of the over-crowding, oh wait, maybe not, he’s not a vicious felon, at least not at his age. (Hopefully)

Give him a shave and a haircut, let him shower and he will again be up for an appointment on the city council in Atascadero. God Bless us all.

Age 69, never learned. Now we all pay for his room, food, and medical at the Big House. And all the while some of the honest citizens goes without some of these basics.

The judge should have the opportunity to provide this guy with a strict drug rehab program and probation. Make pot legal and use part of the tax money from it to pay for these drug programs. The other and usual options are to slap him on the wrist and encourage him to recommit. Or we could jail/prison him at great financial cost to us. Just say no doesn’t work, it’s time to change our methods of handling these things.



You’re so hilarious. You REALLY gotta take your show on the road.

I think the pharmaceutical firms should fund rehab for meth, because of the irresponsible way amphetamines were marketed in the last half of the twentieth century. seriously, meth was a popular anti depressant and weight control drug very profitable and popular before it was known how damaging it is, let those who profited pay for the damage. this should apply to alcohol as well.

Right on. They were called ‘diet pills’ in the 70s. The drug war has been a bust. It is only kept going by the fantastic amounts of money and power the cops and others get from it. We could end the carnage in Mexico in a minute if we legalized drugs, like many sensible nations have done.

Jack Kevorkian died this morning-he was a hero and pioneer in helping those who wished it to die with dignity on their own terms. He was jailed for that. That ghastly situation and our idiotic drug war are just two examples of what a dysfunctional country this is. I believe that just recently a high powered commission recommended we end this childish ‘war’ on drugs.

@the dog, I’ve always looked at Kevorkian as a pioneer. I’m sure that most of us have had a family member that doesn’t know how long they’ll have to suffer before mercifully dying. It’s my body, if I want to end my suffering on my terms then that’s my right (as long as I’m not hurting anyone else). The current laws seem to based on theology rather than commonsense.

You are probably referring to a study conducted by the Global Commission on Drug Policy. It’s comprised of very diverse and impressive people. My favorite commissioner is Richard Branson (BTW ladies he is the perfect husband). Branson’s the reason that I remembered the news story about this study :). Branson aside the study is pretty interesting, I’ll post it if I get a chance to find it.

@zap, excellent idea! I will borrow that one. The pharma’s do have their nasty hands in the murk of addiction. Save the pot taxes to fund the prisons and the pharmas to fund drug programs. Gov. Brown needs us to help balance the budget.

@side_show, good comeback Bob, your wit is amazing. You never fail to demonstrate how to discuss a topic while being clueless.

“was a popular”… IS a popular. ritalin, adderal, modifinal (provigal), dexedrine, merdicia, concerta..

take your pick! some of the top selling drugs in America. And then they target people taking meth, what a joke. (that does not apply to the cretin in this article)

There’s no way he could be involved with drugs! He looks totally innocent!

hehehe, ok, couldn’t resist.

Still, with that rap-sheet, one has to wonder why he’s driving around selling meth… allegedly…

Yeah seriously. I am a very anti drug war person but clearly this guy is a criminal in a way that goes far beyond dealing drugs. How the heck is someone with a rap sheet like that on the street !?

He will continue to have a rap sheet even longer than the one he has now because the system refuses to deal with the problem, typical governmental waste of taxpayers money. By hiding him in prison the problem won’t go away. He’s going to cost us a fortune.

All of his crimes look to be drug related. Stop the drug problem and stop all the other issues.

This creep’s crimes aren’t drug related, they’re creep related. Go look at the list of amphetamine based drugs I listed up a few comments ago.. there are lots of people in America on drugs who have never assaulted someone with a deadly weapon.

Which one of those crimes aren’t drug related? This guy is a meth head. Yes controlled speed is bad but meth destroys people on a different level. There aren’t to many meth addicts that wouldn’t do what ever they had to to get their their meth. Also, crystal meth makes people much more volatile than controlled drugs. Everyone has seen the shows with cops arresting meth heads, they get crazy. I’ve never seen anyone try and beat up cops, pick their skin raw, teeth falling etc. because they’re on Ritalin. Not saying that controlled drugs are good. But meth and crime go hand in hand.

There are plenty of meth addicts that wouldn’t do what ever they had to get their meth. Why don’t you see them? Because they don’t stand out.

Thinking that all meth users, or any other drug users, live up to the reputation that law enforcement has put on them, is like thinking that all gay people act effeminate.

I never said ‘ALL’ meth users anywhere in this thread. Statistically meth drug addicts have a higher crime rate then other drug users. Not all meth heads commit crime to get thier drugs but meth heads look and act different then other addicts (typically). Their hair is like straw, they pick at their skin, their teeth quickly get messed up, they commit domestic violence at a higher rate and commit crimes more than if they weren’t meth heads. The man in this article is a perfect example of that. How many news articles to you see, ‘Ritalin addict arrested for smacking his girlfriend or robbing the store to get money for his Ritalin’. There is direct correlation to meth and violence. Of course that doesn’t mean all meth heads are going to smack their wives around but there’s a higher chance of it than if he wasn’t a meth head. Your gay anology is goofy because I never said ALL meth heads do anything.

Well the darling of neo-con economics Ayn Rand was a meth head before its fall from grace, her writings inspired the trickle down and supply slider so called economists [I am looking at you Alan Greenspan and Paul Ryan] that created the current state of affairs . in this way meth rules and inspired the United States to achieve the current level of respect it now enjoys feel the rush!