Following a four-month investigation, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s detectives on Friday, July 2, arrested four people who have reportedly been trafficking methamphetamine and cocaine in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Kern Counties.
According to Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Drew Sugars, search warrants were served at several locations in multiple counties. The S.B. Narcotics Unit, he said, was assisted by the Santa Maria Police Department, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office, and the Drug Enforcement Agency.
The main suspect — 58-year-old Pedro Villa Perez — was taken into custody after a traffic stop revealed to deputies that there was a hidden compartment in Perez’s car, which contained narcotics. A further search of his residence — on the 400 block of Orchard Road in Nipomo — turned up more drugs within a Coleman ice chest that had also been equipped with a hidden compartment, Sugars reported. All in all, detectives seized three pounds of cocaine, one-half pound of meth, and packaging materials.
Investigating officers, Sugars said, determined that Perez was buying large amounts of methamphetamine and cocaine and distributing them throughout the Central Coast and Bakersfield. The investigation, he went on, “also concluded he was transporting narcotics over several non-contiguous counties.” That allegation as well as the purported use of hidden compartments carry their own specific charges.
Also arrested in the multi-pronged operation was Perez’s son — 27-year-old Guni Villa Lugo — and 25-year-old Glenda Villa at their residence on the 8300 block of Kern Canyon in Bakersfield. There, detectives seized a quarter-pound of meth and three handguns; everything was found inside a hidden compartment concealed in an ice chest. Sugars said that Perez would frequently stay at Lugo’s place when he conducted his business around Bakersfield, and that both Lugo and Villa not only knew about the drugs and guns at their home but also were directly involved with trafficking.
According to Sugars, another search warrant was served at the residence of 28-year-old Alejandro Sanchez on the 1100 block of George Drive in Orcutt. Sanchez was reportedly found in possession of methamphetamine and $4,100 in cash.
Perez is currently booked in Santa Barbara County Jail and is facing a mess of drug-related and trafficking charges. His bail is set at $100,000. Sanchez is also being held in S.B. County Jail and is charged with possession of methamphetamine for sales; his bail is $30,000.
Bail amounts and booking photos have not yet been released for Lugo and Villa, who are being held in the Kern County Jail.