Santa Barbara – The Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce motto “Business is great in Santa Barbara, and Santa Barbara is great for business” must have caught the attention of Robert Keith Banks, 46, who arrived in The Mission City for the express purpose of conducting a little “business”.
And if the economic laws of supply and demand hold any contemporary credence, then—in spite of the area’s glittering and well-preened State Street commercial district and the silver sands of nearby East Beach—there is considerable local demand for illicit narcotics…the singular entrepreneurial focus of Banks who was the subject of a three-month-long narcotics investigation that resulted in his arrest.
According to Santa Barbara Police Department Public Information Officer Sgt. Riley Harwood, Banks had been of considerable interest to law enforcement since October of 2013 when “detectives from the Santa Barbara Police Department’s Narcotics Unit initiated an investigation into Banks’ narcotics activities.” Already running around town with a probation violation warrant to the tune of $20,000 on his head, Banks was kept under surveillance until he was arrested on the warrant in the busy parking lot of the Carpinteria McDonald’s Restaurant. At that time, over nine ounces of heroin was found on him, along with a “police-style baton”, and he was determined to be actively moving the heroin into the county from the Los Angeles area.
Banks, a resident of Inglewood, Ca., was taken into custody and booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of transporting heroin for sale, with his bail set at $30,000.
Photo: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking