Six arrested in bust of Ash Fork meth dealing operation

Posted: Updated:
By Jim Carr By Jim Carr
By Jim Carr By Jim Carr
By Jim Carr By Jim Carr
By Jim Carr By Jim Carr
By Jim Carr By Jim Carr

ASH FORK – A four-month undercover investigation culminated in six arrests as police busted a methamphetamine dealing operation in Ash Fork and the Kaibab Estates communities.

Police arrested 53-year-old Judith Manley, 30-year-old Casandra Manley, 42-year-old Michael Padilla, 38-year-old Ligorio Saldana, 32-year-old Shanna Heidecker and 41-year-old Sonia Celaya.

The investigation began in August when detectives from the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office received a tip about the operation from a Silent Witness caller.

In August, detectives arranged the purchase of various quantities of meth at hotel rooms in the 800 block of Park Avenue in Ash Fork. Padilla sold meth on at least two occasions as part of a controlled buy, police say, and Heidecker was involved in braking up the meth into salable quantities. In November, Heidecker sold a quantity of meth as part of a controlled buy.

In September, detectives arranged for the purchase of meth from Judith Manley, who lives in a trailer on Sonia Celaya’s property on Mesa Drive in the Kaibab Estates. Judith Manley got the drugs from Celaya, according to police.

In October and November, detectives purchased meth from Casandra Manley, Judith’s daughter, who lives in the 1300 block of Moon Glow Road in the Kaibab Estates.

On December 10, search warrants were served at several homes, where detectives found evidence of a drug sales operation including cell phones, scales, pay/owe sheets, drug paraphernalia, cash proceeds and packaging material.

Casandra Manley was arrested at her Moon Glow Road home for four counts of child abuse and numerous charges related to drug possession and sales. Her children were turned over to Child Protective Services. Her boyfriend, Ligorio Saldana, was arrested for possession of dangerous drugs and weapons misconduct involving a recovered rifle.

Sonia Celaya was arrested at her Mesa Drive home for three counts of possession of dangerous drugs for sale and other charges.

Judith Manley was arrested for two counts of possession of dangerous drugs for sale. She was found at Shanna Heidecker’s home in the 700 block of Route 66. Heidecker was arrested at her home for two counts of possession of dangerous drugs for sale and several other drug-related charges.

Michael Padilla was arrested at his home in the 100 block of Yucca Trail for two counts of possession of dangerous drugs for sale and various other drug charges.

The Prescott Area Narcotics Task Force and the Flagstaff Metro Unit assisted the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation.