Santa Barbara – If you’re dealing drugs, the one thing you don’t want to see coming your way is a law enforcement officer on four legs and a wagging tail.
The sight of just that in the late evening hours of May 23rd undoubtedly sent a chill down the spines of three suspects in downtown Lompoc, the coastal community located in central Santa Barbara County where the largest employer is the federal penitentiary. According to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Public Information Officer Kelly Hoover in her report to the media, SBSD Gang and Narcotics Enforcement Deputies were actively serving multiple search warrants in the area upon area residences, motel rooms, and a number of vehicles.
Sgt. Nathan Flint, spokesman for the Lompoc Police Department, reported that “more than 70 grams of meth with a street value of $7,000, and more than 30 grams of heroin with a street value of $3,000 were seized” with the help of the department’s “Hank”, a dog trained in drug detection. According to Flint, Hank discovered significant amounts of methamphetamine hidden in the engine compartment of one of the searched vehicles.
Along with the controlled substances, additional evidence of active drug sales in the form of $11,000 cash, packaging materials, cell phones, scales, and a handgun were also seized. Pursuant to the search warrants and evidence found, Guillermo Martin, 35, Ronald Gonzales, 43, and Ernest Dawson Jr., 31, were arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine and heroin for sale, transportation of methamphetamine, criminal conspiracy, and being under the influence of a controlled substance.
Photos: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking
NBC: Lompoc Police Find $10,000 Worth of Drugs and $11,000 Cash