Busted for Dealing Drugs at Smoke Shop

Busted for Dealing Drugs at Smoke Shop

Santa Barbara County – National employment statistics point to the difficulties many people are currently having in finding and keeping a job in today’s challenging economy. In Santa Barbara County, many labor activists are pushing hard for an increase in the minimum wage to $15 per hour; considering the legislative process, however, that may be a long way off from becoming a reality. Given the current job market situation and prevailing wages, some people—even those with steady employment—may be tempted to either moonlight with a second job or engage in “side work” that generates additional cash income.

Police display Gonzales' stash

Police display Gonzales’ stash

That phenomenon may explain why Joe Ruben Gonzales, a 26-year-old resident of Santa Maria and convicted felon who has been an employee of Johnny’s Smoke Shop in the downtown commercial area of the city, got creative and struck out on his own with an entrepreneurial activity that ended with his September 29th arrest.

According to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Kelly Hoover, SBSD Detectives, who had been keeping an eye on the smoke shop’s retail activities, served a search warrant on the store and “discovered suspected methamphetamine, marijuana, ammunition, and narcotics packaging materials” all allegedly under the direct control of Gonzales.

Following that discovery, another search warrant was served on Gonzales’ residence, where “additional methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia” were located, giving law enforcement ample evidence to support his arrest. Gonzales was summarily taken into custody and transported to Santa Barbara County Jail, where he was charged with possession of methamphetamine for sale, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, with his bail set at $35,000.

Photos: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department

Busted for Dealing Drugs at Smoke Shop was last modified: January 18th, 2019 by admin
Categories: Santa Barbara

About Author

Robert L. McCullough

Bob McCullough is a television and screen writer-producer who has worked for every major television network and film studio with more than 200 produced credits. Bob has recently co-authored “Where Hollywood Hides: Santa Barbara”, a hardcover book featuring a wide range of film, television, and music industry celebrities living on the Central Coast. His weekly iTunes podcast about “all things Hollywood” can be heard at http:wherehollywoodhides.com.