Santa Barbara – “The American Riviera” continues to be plagued by localized gang activity, which was clearly demonstrated on the morning of October 10th when Santa Barbara Police Department units swept through the city at 19 separate locations and arrested no less than seven reputedly active gang members.
According to SBPD Public Information Officer Lt. Paul McCaffrey, the intensified effort on the part of officers was the result of “a call of shots fired” in an eastside residential area the week prior. The address involved in that report and the subsequent investigation motivated SBPD SWAT to deploy their fully-armored tank-like “Bearcat” in order to “ensure a safe search of the same address,” McCaffrey commented in his report to the media.
As a result of the pre-dawn service of multiple search warrants throughout the city, Marcial Garcia was arrested and booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of robbery committed in furtherance of a criminal street gang, along with Juan Gomez—himself the victim of a gang-related stabbing in 2011— and Christian Botello, who was also booked on robbery and criminal street gang charges.
At other locations throughout the city, Jaoquin Perez was arrested on charges of marijuana possession and parole violation, Giovanny Torres was apprehended and booked for parole violation, and Ronald Contreras and a juvenile whose name is currently withheld were arrested on charges of possession of a controlled substance.
The objective of the heightened enforcement activity, according to McCaffrey “was to look for wanted gang members who have arrest warrants.”
Along with the seven individuals taken into custody as a result of the carefully planned and executed enforcement action, police recovered a quarter pound of cocaine and in excess of $10,000 cash.
Photos: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking, Santa Barbara Police Department SWAT
KeyT: Police Crack Down on Gang Activity