Sheriff's Office

PR #:
Date Issued:
Jun 08, 2022 - 11:00AM

For Immediate Release

Regional narcotics unit arrests Sparks couple

For media inquiries contact:
Sergeant Jeff McCaskill
Washoe County Sheriff's Office
Office: (775) 328-6235
Cell: (775) 484-9821

Detectives with the Regional Narcotics Unit (RNU), along with Sparks Police Officers and the Sparks K9 Unit, have arrested two Sparks residents, Jason Hertel and Marielle Navalta, for drug possession and engaging in drug sales. After investigation, Jason Hertel and Marielle Navalta were also charged with child endangerment.

On the evening of April 26th, 2022, Sparks Police Officers, Sparks Police K9 Unit, and RNU Detectives conducted a traffic stop in the area of Sullivan Lane and Byrd Drive. Jason Hertel and Marielle Navalta occupied the vehicle along with a two-year-old juvenile. Investigation revealed Jason Hertel possessed a loaded firearm, 171.5 grams of fentanyl, 57.7 grams of methamphetamine, and a large number of Xanax pills. Follow-up investigation revealed Jason Hertel and Marielle Navalta had been engaged in heavy use and sales of fentanyl, a powerful and dangerous opioid drug, in the presence of the two-year-old child. As a result of the investigation, the child was removed from the dangerous living situation.

Jason Hertel is charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance for Sales, High-Level Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of a Dangerous Drug without a Prescription, and Child Endangerment. Marielle Navalta is charged with Simple Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Child Endangerment.

The Regional Narcotics Unit is comprised of detectives from the Reno Police Department, Sparks Police Department, Washoe County Sherriff's Office, University of Nevada Police Department, Nevada Counterdrug Program and Homeland Security Investigations.




The Washoe County Sheriff's Office is dedicated to preserving a safe and secure community with professionalism, respect, integrity and the highest commitment to equality. Sheriff Darin Balaam is the 27th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County since the Office was created in 1861. The Washoe County Sheriff's Office strives to ensure public safety by building trust and creating partnerships within the diverse communities in which we serve. We will promote the dignity of all people supported by our words and actions through open communication while fostering an environment of professionalism, integrity and mutual respect.


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