Narcotics Arrests Keep Deputies Busy
In the third such operation in as many days, Santa Clarita Deputies from the Community Interaction Team (CIT) and the J-Team have taken down substantial drug dealer operations in three separate neighborhoods and made six arrests.
Following investigative leads corroborated by public crime tip information, deputies served a search warrant at an apartment in the 27500 block of Violin Canyon, Unincorporated Los Angeles County, Castaic
It was just after 7:00 a.m. when the deputies converged on the location and issued the early morning wake up call. The deputies detained three individuals and found substantial quantities of methamphetamine, cocaine, Oxycontin, and marijuana. They also recovered a loaded handgun and cash.
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Arrested were Paul Hutchinson, MB/28, David Quintero, MH/23, and Angela Fuller, FW/24, of Castaic. They were each booked at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station.
Hutchinson faces potential felony charges of possession of drugs for sales and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was also on felony parole for narcotics related offenses. He is being held without bail pending future court proceedings.
Quintero faces potential felony charges of possession of drugs for sale. He is being held in lieu of $30,000 bail pending future court proceeding.
Fuller was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. She is soon to be released on a promise to appear.
Each one of the operations resulted from an aggressive prevention and enforcement campaign implemented through a direct partnership between the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station, the city of Santa Clarita and the County of Los Angeles under the direction of station commander Captain Paul Becker.
Becker and his staff formed and launched the Juvenile Team (J-Team) and a crime tip reporting system in July of this year after public concerns and in-depth case review indicated an increase in heroin and methamphetamine use and availability in the community. The ultimate goal of the program is to keep drugs off the streets of Santa Clarita and away from our youth.
"These early results have been encouraging to say the least," said Captain Becker. "The efforts of the new team, our patrol deputies and narcotics teams seem to be paying off but our work is still in the early stages. We need the continued involvement of our community. The word will get out to these drug dealers that if you bring or conduct your illegal operations in Santa Clarita you can expect to go to jail," concluded Becker.
Since its inception just three months ago, the J-Team has processed more than 90 crime tips, investigated and closed 50 plus cases, and is currently working another 40 active cases. They have made nearly 70 arrests and served nine search warrants, including one where they tracked a drug dealer to Los Angeles and recovered nearly 200 balloons of heroin earmarked for our community and its youth. The J-Team has consistently followed leads outside the community to stop major suppliers to the Santa Clarita Valley.
They have also been very busy with other operations locally. In addition to the operations the past three days, deputies handled a Castaic case where nearly 30 balloons of heroin and a handgun were recovered, and a Valencia case involving the seizure of more than 40 balloons of heroin. Each of these cases resulted in the arrest of major drug suppliers.
With the help of patrol deputies, special assignment deputies, Narcotics Headquarters Bureau detectives, and the J-Team, the station has initiated the reporting of more than a thousand drug related incidents and arrests in the Santa Clarita Valley since January.
The next phase of the plan will include the implementation of sustainable youth intervention programs for those who have been caught using or possessing illegal drugs.
Station officials intend to seek grant funding for this important component of the program. Deputies hope to monitor those teens who have been arrested and provide them with sustainable intervention programs so they avoid relapse or escalation in drug use.