Michael Lopez and Jesus Lopez Zamora
SANTA BARBARA — Here’s a career tip for those contemplating the business opportunities provided in the high-margin world of methamphetamine sales: don’t drive around with the product in your car, because those K9 cops—the ones with four legs, big teeth, and a sense of smell unmatched among mammals—will sniff it out no matter how cleverly you hide it.
Case in point: 29-year-old Santa Barbara resident Michael Lopez has, according to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Kelly Hoover, been the subject of “an extensive investigation into the sales of methamphetamine” throughout the county and his residence and vehicle had been the target of ongoing law enforcement surveillance for nearly four months.
Evidence gathered during the course of that protracted surveillance led Sheriff’s narcotics detectives to serve a search warrant of Lopez’ residence on January 14th.
Accompanying the deputies during the search was an eager K9 “deputy” who promptly detected methamphetamine stashed “behind the air vent in the dashboard” of Lopez’ car, and another quarter pound of meth hidden behind the vehicle’s center console.
Lopez—a probationer–was summarily arrested at the scene during which time detectives found Jesus Lopez-Zamora, a 42-year-old Santa Barbaran, hanging out in the home and in possession of his own stash of methamphetamine.
Both men were transported to Santa Barbara County Jail, where Lopez was booked on charges of possession of methamphetamine for sales, possession of narcotic paraphernalia, and probation violation, all of which earned him a no-bail hold.
For his part, Lopez-Zamora was booked on possession of a controlled substance and was promptly turned over to ICE due to his past convictions and deportation status.
Photos: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking