SANTA YNEZ — A Colorado family’s vacation came to an abrupt end Monday morning when police and security officers found them enjoying a communal supply of methamphetamine in a car outside the Chumash Casino.
Married couple Danny and Laura Burchfield, Danny’s daughter Amy, and Amy’s boyfriend David Blaylock were all arrested on drug charges while police seized more than 5.5 grams of suspected methamphetamine, a glass pipe, and an illegal supply of prescription pills.
At approximately 1 a.m., casino surveillance officers observed three subjects covering the back and rear passenger windows of their vehicle with magazines. Drug use was suspected when the flint of a lighter sparked from inside the car, and security officers Robert Hernandez and Tom Southwick were dispatched to investigate.
Hernandez reported that when he asked Danny to roll down the window, he was greeted by a thick cloud of smoke. The vehicle’s occupants appeared nervous and continually violated commands to keep their hands in plain view, prompting detainment action by Hernandez and Southwick. Laura was found to be hiding a sunglass case containing a suspicious white crystalline substance that field-tested presumptive positive for meth.
It was at this point that Blaylock returned to the vehicle and joined Danny under the penlight. Neither man’s pupils showed any response to the stimulus and both were transported by police to the sheriff’s substation in Solvang for a more comprehensive drug test. Amy and Laura were taken to Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital for a urine sample they refused to provide to police.
Blaylock later admitted that he and Amy had obtained meth from a friend in Colorado and used it three days earlier in either Pismo Beach or Morro Bay, but denied ownership of the supply found in the car. He claimed he had only recently met Laura and Danny and was unaware of their involvement with the drug.
Blaylock and all three Burchfields were charged with being under the influence of a controlled substance. Laura Burchfield received additional charges for narcotics, controlled substance, paraphernalia and prescription medication possession.
— Taylor Gutsche