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.

By KAREN VELIE

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.


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Boris

I feel that Cheyne, and his wife, with a very ruthless, truly devastating lawyer, can and should get millions and millions of dollars from the city, or more specifically, Cantrell. It isn’t just the loss of the gun, it is the sum of what followed. Cheyne DID NOTHING. But they’re are still trying to find something, ANYTHING, that will stick. Up until this point, I had a very good opinion of the city police. Never heard anything bad. Now, I can just imagine the cops, just screaming at, trying to intimidate, “WHERE’S THE GUN!!!!!” over and over. Asking the kids, threatening the parents, and they had NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. Yet, they still don’t have their kids back.


Cheyne, get a really good lawyer. Take the bastards down. My opinion of the SLO City cops has just evaporated.


Hazmateer

Yep, that’s what incompetent leadership will do for a department – ruin the reputation of everyone in it.


AmericaTheFree

Here’s what’s really happenin’ (just a short course on modern day “civics”)…

The DA and the C.O.P. are doing what most, if not all, prosecutors and LEA’s do, they are over charging this gentlemen which in the vast majority of cases results in a plea of guilty or no-contest. Why? ’cause it is time tested way of keeping their conviction rate at whatever high rate they claim. Scare the bejesus out of some ill-informed citizen with an astronomical amount of time behind bars then offer them something much less and you’ll get the vast majority to plead out in a heartbeat!

The there’s the insult added to injury that will cause even more injury, having the Public Defender appointed to your case; when this happens you’re almost assured of a spot on the conviction list insuring to keep the D.A.’s rate where it’s suppose to be.

If I was this gentleman I would try and find some sort of conflict with the P.D.s office and have a private attorney appointed, not waive time and force the D.A. to bring this to trial in a timely manner. (in California, for a felony charge, that’s 60 days from the day you’re arraigned in Superior Court). I would counter any offer with an offer of no lawsuit if they dismiss.

This is all about a conviction, and the conviction rate that often gets these people elected to office.


Boris

You know, the chief loses her gun. Things happen. But apparently, she gets SO jacked up about it, she decides that whoever took it, has no more civil rights. If I see a gun left in a bathroom, I’d probably take it too. I assume there weren’t any identifying markings on it or any paperwork identifying the owner? So they get SOOOO JACKED UP, that they put a serious crimp in someone’s life, almost like they were intentionally trying to ruin it, because THE CHIEF LOST HER GUN? Conveniently, someone says, I know who that guy is, and just as conveniently, someone else says, “HE’S ON PROBATION! WE DON’T NEED ANY STINKING WARRANT!” They toss the house, and I have no doubt they trashed a lot of stuff in there, because that is what they do, they don’t find a gun, turns out, WRONG GUY, but they Trump up some BS charges, take their kids and their DOG? And they don’t find anything, but they take their kids, and now they are trying to make something stick?


Jesus H. Christ. No apology, no nothing, and they still take their kids? Losing the gun is one thing. But the rest, someone’s head needs to roll. If the chief orchestrated this, she needs to go. This is unbelieveable.


Boris.


Paso_citizen

Just goes to show you how desperate SLO is to cover their a**. A huge lack of accountability and truthfulness on the part of Cantrell has led to destroying other people in order to make yourself look righteous. The citizens of SLO should be very ‘proud’ of their elected officials!


kayaknut

We all know SLO’s Chief and her dirty cops will go to no end to try and justify their illegal actions. Unfortunately we likely have yet to see how far they will go. It sure is to get worse. Yet we still ask for the video from this illegal search and nothing yet. I guess the video is still being edit…. I mean download. The only question is will it be “oops, there was a technical issue and we lost the recordings, all of them”, or will it be “detectives don’t have body cams or didn’t have them turned on” which excuse will be used if the editing…. I mean downloading doesn’t support Chief Cantrells…. third , fourth or is this fifth version of her story? Taxpayers in SLO city keep opening up your wallets wider, the more Chief Cantrell and her dirty cops try to cover this up the more it will cost you.


Momma2Two

This is absolutely horrible. Why is this STILL going on?? I see no reason for their poor children to be in an unfamiliar home for absolutely no reason. I hope and pray this family sues the police chief herself, both officers who “incorrectly identified” this man, and the DA’s office. This is an embarrassing incident to all involved.


JordanJ

Isn’t the job of media to question government, not to work as their PR firm like the Tribune is doing. It is sad that this family has had to deal with a marred reputation because someone in county government said in a data base that the victim is the person on probation. But now the Tribune is joining the ongoing character assassination.


slomark

The Trib is broke–no money (or desire) for investigative reporting.


ActaNonVerba

This is how families get destroyed. This is how peoples’ lives get ruined. Some idiotic chief of police does something profoundly stupid and dangerous. Then she lies about it. Then innocent others get persecuted in an attempt to deflect attention away from the lying chief’s hideous behavior. This is just wrong!


In the real world, there would be a real investigation and the boneheaded chief would be fired. Not in SLO though!


Pox on Chief Deanna Cantrell.

Pox on her complicit boss, Derek Johnson.

Pox on her accomplice, Sergeant Jason Dickle.

Pox on SLO Mayor Heidi Harmon.

Pox on everyone else who tried to cover the chief’s ass.


The FBI needs to look into this.


LOVESLO

Most likely the accused was prescribed Adderall (amphetamine). If no methamphetamine was detected, it wasn’t taken.


obispan

Not so fast, the police have access to meth as evidence in other cases. No big deal to have “found” meth, if necessary, particularly when the City is pulling out all the stops in a CYA coverup.


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