False license plate investigation in Redding yields pound of heroin, shotgun – SoCal felon arrested

REDDING, Calif., — Authorities say an investigation initiated by an eagle-eyed officer who spotted a trailer plate affixed to a pickup truck led to the arrest of a Southern California felon and a second wanted man late last night, Friday, Oct. 22.

Riverside County Superior Court records indicate the suspect, Christopher David Rutledge, 44, of Temecula, has an extensive criminal history, with no less than two dozen Riverside County arrests and criminal cases – mostly for drug-related offenses and probation violations – dating back to 2011.

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Last night’s arrest happened shortly after 10:30 p.m., after a City of Redding police officer observed a a white, GMC Sierra pickup truck on the 4800 block of Churn Creek Road that appeared to have a trailer license plate attached to it rather than the required commercial license plate, Redding Police Corporal Regan Ortega reported this morning.

After conducting a DMV records check on the truck’s license plate and confirming that the affixed rear plate belonged to a trailer, the officer detained driver David Tietjen, 38, of North Highlands and passenger Christopher Rutledge, as well as Kristine Cannedy, 22, of Roseville, who had been standing next to the truck when the officer approached.

Officers soon learned that Rutledge is on Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) probation, with multiple prior felony convictions.

Christopher David Rutledge of Temecula was arrested in Redding last night after officers discovered he was in possession of a loaded shotgun and more than a pound of heroin. Redding Police Department photos

“To ensure Rutledge was abiding by the terms of his PRCS, a search of the vehicle was conducted,” Ortega explained. “Within the vehicle, (officers) located a short-barreled shotgun, three live rounds of shotgun ammunition, 1.15 pounds of heroin, a digital scale and drug paraphernalia.”

Rutledge ultimately admitted responsibility for the truck and its contents, according to the Corporal.

Based on their investigation, officers arrested Rutledge and he was booked into the Shasta County Jail on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition by a prohibited person, possession of a firearm with an illegally modified barrel, transportation of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for sale, and transportation of a controlled substance between counties.

Tietjen was also arrested and later booked into the Shasta County Jail for an unrelated felony warrant, while Cannedy was released from the scene without charges.

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As reported by SCNS sister publication Riverside County News Source (RCNS) at the time, one of Rutledge’s Riverside County cases involved a March, 2019 search warrant related arrest, when he was found to be in possession of a firearm and ammunition, in violation of his probation terms. During the service of that search warrant, Riverside County sheriff’s deputies and investigators seized a total of six weapons as well as methamphetamine, and arrested a total of seven people.

Anyone with further information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact Redding PD at (530) 225-4200. Callers can refer to incident file number 21R069434 and can remain anonymous.



Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 50, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.

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