One of the two teenage hikers who were rescued after a four-day search of Southern California wilderness has been charged with felony methamphetamine possession, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Nicolas Cendoya, 19, was charged after authorities responding to help the pair found 497 milligrams of the drug in his vehicle, the Orange County Register reported.
Cendoya and Kyndall Jack, 18, called 911 from Holy Jim Canyon in Orange County on Easter Sunday, and told the operator they were lost and their cellphone was running out of energy.
Cendoya was discovered three days later, dehydrated and delirious. Jack was found the next day, hypothermic and confused.
Both recalled little from their ordeal, beyond hallucinations.
The search to find them required 1,900 man-hours, cost taxpayers an estimated $160,000, and resulted in one deputy's serious injury while trying to rescue Jack.
Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer expressed outrage that reckless behavior may have cost citizens any money.
"I am incredibly perplexed. There are so many unanswered questions surrounding this situation," Spitzer told the newspaper.
Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Gail Krause said earlier this week that the hikers hadn't been asked to take drug tests, and there is no ongoing investigation into the incident.
If convicted of the meth charge, Cendoya faces up to three years in jail.