Santa Barbara County – When 49-year-old Jose Munoz of Santa Maria was arrested in Santa Maria on May 26th pursuant to an outstanding warrant on charges of methamphetamine sales, that concluded what Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Kelly Hoover described to the media as “a multi-year investigation by the Special Investigations Bureau” of the SBSD.
Over the course of that investigation, conducted in concert with the efforts of the ATF, the DEA, and the IRS, all of whom were looking closely into the activities of known gang members, drug dealers, and firearms dealers, no less than a total of 39 suspects residing in the Santa Maria area were arrested.
During the progress of the investigation, 45 firearms, more than 11,000 rounds of ammunition, over 14 pounds of methamphetamine, in excess of two pounds of heroin, cocaine valued at $30,000, and nearly $85,000 in cash were seized by detectives.
According to Hoover, neither the pattern of arrests nor the names of those arrested were released during the course of the investigation “due to the fact others were still being sought.”
Among those arrested on assorted firearms, narcotic and gang violations were Santa Maria residents Alex Ausan, 36, Carmelo Ayala, 38, Daniel Deleon, 38, David Galvan, 56, Gabriel Estrada, 37, Griselda Diaz, 31, Ivan Jasso, 20, Jennifer Agic, 31, Joanna Savoy, 35, Jonathan Chavez, 24, Jonathan Zaranda, 23, Juanita Gonzales, 43, Juan Juarez, 25, Maryzela Ayala, 36, Monica Guerrero, 27, Ramiro Pizano, 39, Richard Flowers, 28, Richard Sierra, 25, Rosamaria Alvarado, 24, Steven Rincon, 38, Steven Vega, 25, Tameka Lewis, 37, Alfred Plaza, 53, Andre Sanchez, 27, Angel Herrera, 43, Christopher Estrada, 26, Danel Hanson, 24, Darold Oliva, 44, Gary Hanson, 59, Jose Espinoza, 36, Margre Ponce, 44, Steve Aguilar, 54, Thomas Allen, 30, and Yesenia Herrera, 24. Hailing from outside the Santa Maria Valley and arrested on the same charges were Melissa Fuentes, 32, of Buellton, Rigoberto Castillo, 25, of Nipomo, and Gonesico Olivas, 66, a resident of Taft.
Photos: Courtesy Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department