Juan Francisco Roman
SANTA BARBARA COUNTY — Calling your broker to check today’s stock prices on ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft may not be necessary once word gets out of the February 13th arrest of 42-year-old Santa Maria resident Juan Francisco Roman.
It was just after midnight when, according to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Kelly Hoover, Roman was behind the wheel of an in-service taxi cruising the streets of Santa Maria and was pulled over by a Sheriff’s patrol cruiser “for a traffic violation.”
During the course of issuing Roman an ostensible traffic citation, “deputies conducted a search of the taxi cab” being driven by Roman and happened to come across “a loaded 9 mm firearm next to the driver seat.”
As these things commonly go, the deputies also found “a usable quantity of methamphetamine and heroin,” presumably more remarkable than any conceivable “unusable quantity,” the definition of which has apparently not been reported to the media.
As Roman and his vehicle were being searched, it was also learned by the deputies on the scene that—in spite of the fact that he was employed in the service of paying passengers traveling local streets and highways—he is a convicted felon with “multiple prior arrests for weapons violations,” removing any doubt as to why he was not, perhaps, freelancing as an Uber driver.
Roman was transported to Santa Barbara County Jail where he was booked on “a variety of felony charges,” with his bail set at $50,000.
Photo: courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking