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Alleged drunk driver may be linked to drug trafficking

By Tyler May, tmay@krcrtv.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 10:38:32 AM CST
Updated On: Oct 16 2013 08:25:06 PM CDT
Riley Hoover mugshot photo

Riley Hoover

CHICO, Calif. -

New details have been revealed in the case of a 19-year-old accused of driving drunk, and killing a Chico State nursing student.
     
We have learned Riley Hoover might have been involved in a marijuana trafficking organization in Butte County.

At the time of the crash in late September, investigators said Hoover had 40 ounces of hash inside his car.  Police said Hoover was behind the wheel when his car struck and killed Kristina Chesterman.
     
The follow-up investigation in that case has led to the arrest of four people for involvement in the marijuana grows allegedly linked to Hoover..

The four suspects appeared in court Wednesday morning.  They are Sarah Heath, Harrison Leguire, Gary Luttman Jr., and Kathryn McCoy, who are all from the Midwest.  Hoover is originally from Ohio.
     
"They all came out here to take advantage of California's more liberal marijuana growing laws and to make a profit," said District Attorney Mike Ramsey.
     
Ramsey explained it was the search warrant from Hoover's DUI case that led investigators to the foothills of Berry Creek to arrest them.
     
"All of the people appeared to know each other," said Ramsey.
     
Investigators don't believe Hoover was coming from Berry Creek the night he allegedly hit Chesterman with a blood alcohol content of .30.

"Going down those windy roads, I doubt he would have made it that far," said Ramsey.
     
Ramsey said Hoover and the other four suspects would often take their product to Sacramento and mail it back to Midwest.
     
"The investigation has a number of tentacles that are going out and we'll see where it leads us," said Ramsey.

Ramsey said another search warrant has been issued in that area to search for more drugs and automatic weapons.  He wouldn't say who was involved, due to the nature of the investigation.
 
It's still unclear if more charges will be filed against Hoover.