By Tom Collins
Arizona Daily Wildcat
January 21, 1998

Police Beat

Two Tucson residents were arrested on drug charges early Saturday after university police initially stopped them for speeding.

Nidia E. Cota, 27, of the 4000 block of South Liberty Avenue, and Steven Gonzales, 32, whose address was listed as a post office box in police reports, were arrested on charges of possession of a narcotic drug after police pulled their car over at East Speedway Boulevard and North Second Avenue at 2:40 a.m.

When police approached the car, a 1995 Mercury Tracer, the officer saw Gonzales reach into the back seat.

Cota, the driver, appeared "shaky and nervous" when the officer approached, police reports stated. Her eyes, according to reports, appeared glassy.

The officer asked Cota if she had anything he "needed to be aware of."

The woman emptied her pockets and police found a plastic baggy containing a small amount of what the officer thought was cocaine.

In the back seat of the car under a towel, police found another plastic bag containing 30 grams of white powder.

"Someone must have put it there," Cota reportedly told police. " It's not mine."

Gonzales also denied any knowledge of the suspected drug.

A later test indicated the powder was cocaine.

Both Cota and Gonzales were booked into the Pima County Jail.

Two students were referred to the Dean of Students Diversion Program after university police received a call about people robbing a vending machine Monday in Graham-Greenlee Residence Hall, 610 N. Highland Ave.

When the officer arrived at the hall, he found the Plexiglas face of a candy machine pried out and lying on the ground.

There were also candy and chip bags on the ground.

The officer headed up the stairway and heard "a lot of rustling" just inside the door to the third floor.

On that floor, the officer saw an 18-year-old student, holding a piece of candy and a bag of chips, leave his room and head for another.

"Do you know why I'm here?" the officer reportedly asked the student.

"Yes," the student responded, according to police reports.

The student knocked on the door and another student, a 19-year-old, opened the door.

Police found two grocery bags of snacks in each student's room, police reports stated.

The 19-year-old student told police he had come down the stairs to the lounge where the 18-year-old student was playing pool, reports stated. He said the Plexiglas was already out when he got there, according to reports.

The 19-year-old student told police they didn't want to get in trouble, but, according to police reports, had been "tempted by the appearance of the free snack items."

The damage to the machine was valued at $70.

University police arrested a 23-year-old Tucson man Sunday on outstanding warrants after a Delta Tau Delta member accused him of stealing his Sony Playstation.

The member called police at 10:20 a.m. after he exited the shower room and saw a man peering into his room in the Delta Tau Delta fraternity house, 1550 N. Vine Ave.

The student told police that the man had seen him and walked to a nearby pay phone. When the student reached to his room, he told police, his Playstation and some cash were missing.

Police found a man matching the student's description outside the nearby Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity house, 1510 N. Vine Ave.

When the man, Terry Leroy Nichols, of the 1200 block of South Avenida Sirio, saw police, reports stated, he walked away. The officer called out to him.

The student ran up to police shouting, "That's him, that's him," according to police reports. Police did not find the Playstation in the man's backpack, but did discover both university and Tucson Police Department warrants for his arrest after a record check.

Nichols told police he had gotten off a bus on East Grant Road and was going to catch another at East Speedway Boulevard and North Campbell Avenue. He said he had seen the man the officer was looking for running west, away from the fraternity houses.

Nichols was arrested on the warrants and taken to Pima County Jail. The nature of the warrants was not specified in police reports.

Police Beat is compiled from official University of Arizona Police Department reports.


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