Fact check: No meth found in home during search for chief’s gun

August 7, 2019

Cheyne Orndoff’s graduation from Cal Poly

Clarification: SLO Police officers found a pipe at Cheyne Orndoff and Vanessa Bedroni’s home they listed as a meth pipe in their report. However, the pipe, which is sold for cannabis use, was not procured as evidence.


San Luis Obispo Police officers did not find methamphetamine in the home of a man misidentified as the person who found the police chief’s loaded gun on a toilet paper roll dispenser on July 10 in a restaurant bathroom, as reported by the Tribune.

Two days after the unwarranted raid, government employees collected and ran urine samples on family members. One of the samples tested positive for amphetamine, a finding possibly because of the use of cold or allergy medication.

Prosecutors responded to the test results with a motion to amend charges to include felony counts of child abuse and a request to incarcerate the parents, Cheyne Orndoff and Vanessa Bedroni, in lieu of $20,000 bail.

At a hearing on Aug. 6, Judge Tim Covello granted the motion to include felony charges but denied Deputy District Attorney Phillip Joo’s request to incarcerate Orndoff and Bedroni.

Peter Depew, Bedroni’s attorney, then asked Joo to allow further testing of the urine sample at a private lab. While Joo declined the request, it is likely the defense will ask the court to order the retesting.

The defense attorneys then asked the judge to allow Orndoff and Bedroni to attend their daughter’s Aug. 17 birthday party. Joo argued against the visitation request referencing needles and amphetamine, without explaining the context.

While Covello ruled Orndoff and Bedroni can have no contact with their children at this time, he set a hearing for Aug. 15 to revisit the visitation request.

After the judge denied Bedroni phone contact with her children, she began to shake and tears rolled down her cheeks.

Following the hearing, Tribune reporter Nick Wilson wrote an article titled, “Couple arrested during search for police chief’s gun had drugs in home, prosecutor says.” In his article, Wilson writes that “the prosecutor mentioned evidence of needles and methamphetamine found in their home.”

While Joo mentioned amphetamine, he did not discuss methamphetamine, nor did he say either compound was found in the home.

During the search of the home, officers found a red box containing hypodermic needles inside Orndoff and Bedroni’s bedroom. Because of a medical condition, Orndoff has a prescription for hormones which requires the use of hypodermic needles.

At about noon on July 10, Cantrell left her pistol in the bathroom of an El Pollo Loco restaurant. A short time later, a man walked into the bathroom, discovered the loaded and unattended firearm and took it with him.

An officer misidentified Orndoff as the suspect, which led the chief to send officers to Orndoff’s home to retrieve her gun. Another public employee misidentified Orndoff as being on probation, which led officers to conduct an unwarranted search of the couple’s home.

Even though officers did not find the chief’s gun, they put Orndoff and Bedroni’s 7 and 9-year-old daughters in foster care, their 5-year-old dog Princess in the pound, and the couple in jail for child neglect because of a dirty house.

In the aftermath of the chief leaving her gun in an El Pollo Loco restroom and the unwarranted raid on Orndoff’s home, several media outlets have posted news stories that lack context, are not in line with the facts, or appear to repeat city and county press releases.

For example, the Tribune has reported Orndoff and Bedroni’s arrests were unrelated to the chief’s misplaced gun, that Orndoff was on probation, that the chief had good reason to search Orndoff and Bedroni’s home without a warrant, and that methamphetamine was found in the home.

Orndoff and Bedroni pleaded not guilty to all charges. In an attempt to raise money for their defense and for work needed at their home, Cheyne Orndoff recently posted a plea for assistance on GoFundMe.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Warrant Work Around: Normalized Deviation versus Accepted Deviation, plus Crew Composition affect on Expectancy.

Once the administrative legal barrier of having a Warrant was blessed with the available “Work Around” (erroneous probation listing) either Normalized or Accepted Deviation occurred. Normalized Deviation is an authorized Work Around from past supervisory endorsement, so no extra consultation is needed. Accepted Deviation implies an active endorsement by a superior in the communication chain. Like someone saying “I’m making the call” or “go ahead, I’ll take the heat” effectively taking ownership by authority status. Both these examples tend to absolve the subordinate team members by higher authorities whether the interaction is past of present. You do a substitution tests to see if it makes sense for other officers to be led down a path. Each officer should be given an opportunity to express their assessment of the overall perceived data quality/reliability from their computers. Generally in a team environment the actions taken make sense at the time with the available context. Team members must be agonizing over their trust in the information.

So, if the City Manager wants transparency then he will share all of the interventions and action plans that came out of these incidents. From there you work backwards looking at what the action plans address, action owner and their attainment deadlines. The action plans listed are an acknowledgment of a deficiency occurrence and the assignment of accountability. Then you look for the perceived gaps in intervention from the known outcomes. You’ll ask why there are no action plans for addressing warrants, technology glitches and errors. If it become apparent there is still no acknowledgment of the error and hence no accountability, then you revisit the original investigators to see if they were given only low hanging fruit to investigate Eventually, someone cracks from the Cone of Silence and they get the best deal.

Part of the investigation should include whether officers committed Decision Based Errors or Skill Based Error concerning the warrant. There doesn’t seem to be any admission of any officer errors except the original Chief’s lost gun. At least one of the officers that mustered to O’Connor Way for the planned confrontation of Orndoff included a Detective(s) listed on the Marijuana Enforcement Team web-page. The composition of officers seemed to be tailored with the Expectancy (bias) to find some drug stash, for which they must have felt deflated to find only some paraphernalia.

There is a naive hopeful belief that we live in a “Just Culture”. A large company generally cannot be a High Functioning Organization without belief in a Just Culture of accountability. We will see if a SLO County can live without a Just Culture.

Thank you, excellent post Humperdinck.

Unfortunately, because you posted it late in the discussion on this article, no one actually saw it, and this article now is buried in the CCN article archives.

My suggestion- wait until CCN posts a new article on this matter (which they are certain to do) and then re-post your full commentary again following that new article.

Thanks. The Monday morning quarterbacks will come back to read the technical Human Failure buzz words. If you visualize the end result of sweeping these Orndoff’s and Skeeter cases under the carpet, they end up with 2 years of some type of probation or CPS scrutiny.

I wonder if the action plan evaluators noodled on more than a one-time humiliating training session in front of her subordinates? The investigators don’t always suggest technological barriers, but they suggest best practices from other events. Was it entertained by anyone in the evaluation for Chief Cantrell to install a gun tracker like TracFind GPS? Shouldn’t she put GPS trackers on all her guns for our safety and as a tool just for her to CYA? I’m Ok with SLO PD picking up the monthly tab to protect against the next 10yr old child, Skeeter or Orndoff situation from eroding public trust. Let’s say she keeps the GPS gun trackers on as long as these poor people have the penal system in their lives. I suspect her dignity might be offended by the mere thought of a GPS tracker. But, the Orndoff’s have already lost most of their dignity and Skeeter is about to get a full cavity search. Unfortunately, the monthly GPS tracking fees might hurt the funding going toward a highly desired new police headquarters.

Maybe there is an exception for guns, but a $599 Glock (Bass Pro Shop) and $100 holster doesn’t meet the $950 Grand Theft threshold. So, let’s overcharge Skeeter just out of meanness too.

The goal is to setup barriers to prevent re-occurrence. Google “HFACS Chart” which goes hand in hand with Swiss Cheese Model error prevention. You’ll see a more in depth type of RCA where every limb on the tree needs an intervention or barrier to prevent litigation.

Humperdinck- again, great comments. Thanks once again.

Now, as anticipated, CCN has just posted a new article, this time reporting that Judge Covello has granted Orndoff and Bedroni visitation rights.

So, this would be your opportunity now to re-post your original commentary as a reply to that new article.

Clarify- … opportunity to post your original commentary AND your reply above. Both are very enlightening and detailed examinations of the depth of this matter.

One more thought. The SLO County civil grand jury might be taking on an investigation of this case and how it has been handled. But they do not make public the cases that they decide to investigate, so we don’t know right now.

Each year the grand jury is comprised of average citizens who have volunteered for service, so the current GJ very likely does not include any members who have your obvious insight into this. Therefore, just in case they do take up this matter as one of their cases to investigate this year, another step you could take is to contact them to volunteer your input into their investigation.

This link provides more info on the GJ and how it operates, and it includes phone and e-mail contact information:


I get really tired of you SLO people commenting on your corrupt city government. Do you think they care about your anonymous complaints in CCN? Organize an event on Social media and turn out a 1000 people at a council meeting. They will understand that.

California needs to learn that a government big enough to give you everything you want is also powerful enough to take everything you have – including your freedom.

Boycott Dow and Parkinson, Slo police Chief and Heidi, Peschong too. Why arent Lynn and Debbie helping this? next election, regardless of their politics. They make combined 600k a year; get away with murder, protect the protected class, and cost us 10s of millions. Stop making politics an issue, start making human life and our home a priority. Lock them up, lock them up. We need to ban together here, all of us, drop our affiliations, and come together as a Community. And MJD comments are sewing Discord. This isn’t about religion, race or politics. This is about humanity. Please folks. Folks, contact Cunningham and Salud and the Feds; I am, and do, and will call my reps for us all! For all the victims of Grover, slo, Paso etc. Let us not be apathetic, let us use democracy and voice our concern with our votes! This could be Hong Kong for heavens sake. It already is. And DA Dow is China. What the hell happened to due process?

Man, this is getting worse by the minute. I really believe we need an outside, non California based entity to investigate this. US DOJ or FBI…

Call your local district and county reps. Cunningham and Salud, please. It’s so easy, they respond promplty.

Salud Carbajal?, you have to be kidding. For one thing this happened in SLO county, he could care less about our county or any city in it and two he likely supports government doing anything it needs to to get what it wants.

No, I’m not. I’ve called for a variety of politcally sensitive reasons that’d go against his party. They work for you bud. They want your vote friend.

Orndoff stray path (rabbit hole) starts with MBPD Tip. You’d want to review quality and quantity of the “Critical Information Transfer”. Was there a person to person call between tipster and SLO Detective? Did it include age, marital status and kids? A preemptive cursory social media check would reveal Cole and Skeeter do IMO have similar features. Then search Tribune and find an Orndoff incident in Morro Bay involving a 16yr old in 2010. Look a Cheyne’s and Cole’s Facebook pages and you’ll see that a handsome single ~26yr old Cole is living in Bakersfield now. Bakersfield PD contacted? BTW, Cheyne is not hard on the eyes either, but he has that “I’m a dad look”.

Something is amiss here ? one needs to verify the Cell phones, Radio Traffic, Text Messages from all sources. This is a Constitutional issue at the very least and corruption at the very best.

No one is perfect, but something in this matter smells and smells bad, I would recommend that the Local Civil Grand Jury request that a Federal Criminal Grand Jury be impaneled, to get to the bottom of this and the very odd circumstances with the Phony Prosecutri8on of Beau Brigham the mentally ill person whom the DA;s office has gone overboard to prosecute a innocent person.

Since the 1 and only alleged witness is a Child Molester, a Pedophile, a Criminal Hacker and is wanted back in the UK something is very wrong with giving him Immunity. ? This man Chris Monteiro is a fraud, crook , convict admitted Perjurer, admitted Child Porn and a Molester why would the DA give him Immunity ?

The DA tired unsuccessfully to limit the Certified Expert MD’s and PhD’s from the record why ? facts are facts as ,many of the juries have openly talked about this case at Lunch and other places something is very wrong here, Prosecution Misconduct again.

I.m alarmed that DA investigator Neal Clayton would call me to get me NOT to look into Chris Monteiro’s history of Criminal misconduct and Child Porn ? To interfere in a investigation in an attempt to alter the truth is a Crime.

I still contend that the police weren’t legally at Orndoff’s house to begin with. They were searching for a different man (something about an unshaven man with short hair, etc.).

Wiki says “An unreasonable search and seizure is a search and seizure by a law enforcement officer without a search warrant and WITHOUT probable CAUSE TO BELIEVE that evidence of a crime is present.”

SLO will pay dearly for this act of stupidly. These administrators should be held accountable.

The taxpayers will pay, likely not Chief Cantrell or any of her dirty cops that helped her and certainly not DA Dan Dow.

If by “held accountable” you mean, “given big raises and fat pensions,” then, yes, I think they will be held accountable.

It’s the Government way…….

The taxpayers of SLO will pay dearly for this unlawful search. The settlement should come from cantrell’s very generous pension fund.

Child Protective Services could have seen through the police BS and could have nip this in the bud within hours with a warning for the dirty house. Instead CPS is hood-winked to go along with the PD agenda of letting them sit in jail overnight, as maybe the truth will change after they get strip searched. CPS had got to know that the situation will cause their marriage to be tested. Never fear, the county will come to the rescue when she has hit bottom and they will show the wife all their programs to feed her kids if she gets divorced and marries the state. DA Dan Dow end this madness!