SANTA BARBARA — Multi-jurisdictional law enforcement teams swept through “The American Riviera” Wednesday with fistfuls of warrants and arrested 11 suspects in a major regional effort to take guns and drugs off the streets and out of the city’s neighborhoods.
The Santa Barbara Regional Narcotic Enforcement Team — comprised of personnel from police departments in Santa Barbara, Guadalupe, Lompoc and Santa Maria; the California Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, California Highway Patrol, as well as Santa Barbara County sheriff’s and probation officials — swept seven separate locations in the city, including a home across the street from a beachbluff grammar school.
In what was codenamed “Operation Apehanger,” the task force served seven different felony warrants in seven locations. Task force officials cited the violent nature of the suspects and their suspected access to high-powered weapons for the coordinated effort, part of the squad’s long-term goal of cracking down on drug and gun dealers in the area.
Arrested in the raids were Keith Brown, 29, Thomas Anthony Dominguez, 52, Thomas Edward Dominguez, 35, Jacob Farias, 18, Jose Farias, 47, Michael Finerty, 26, Virginia Highfield, 30, Robert Maynez, 51, Micah McCabe, 37, Chrysta Ramirez, 28, and Alejandro Raya, 42, all on a wide range of charges that included possession of cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana and illegal mushrooms for sale; conspiracy to distribute illegal firearms; possession of illegal firearms (including assault rifles and machine guns); and felony child endangerment.