Rescued OC Hiker Faces Felony Drug Charge

Rescued OC Hiker Faces Felony Drug Charge

Posted: Updated:
Santa Ana, CA -

(CNS) A 19-year-old who spent nearly four days lost in Orange County's Trabuco Canyon is facing a felony drug charge today because methamphetamine was allegedly found in his vehicle when authorities were searching for him.

Nicholas Cendoya was charged Tuesday with one felony count of possession of a controlled substance, said Farrah Emami of the District Attorney's Office.

Orange County sheriff's investigators found the drug in his vehicle as they were searching it for clues of the whereabouts last month of Cendoya and his friend Kyndall Jack, 18, who has not been charged, said Gail Krause of the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Investigators on April 2 found 497 milligrams of methamphetamine in Cendoya's car, about 0.017 ounce, Emami said.

Cendoya was sent a letter notifying him of his arraignment on May 22.

The search for Cendoya and Jack cost taxpayers $160,377.81, according to Krause. Rescue workers itemized 1,907 hours in the breakdown of the cost.

The Cendoya and Jack went missing on Easter Sunday night when they became lost while hiking. Cendoya was rescued late April 3, and Jack was found the next morning.

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