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Five Arrested in Jailhouse Drug Smuggling Investigation

Allegedly Used Postal Service to Transport Meth


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Special Investigations Bureau says it has cracked a drug smuggling operation that would sneak illegal narcotics into the County Jail. Police say the group was using the U.S. Postal Service to transfer drugs inside, and five suspects have been arrested after an investigation.

Authorities became suspicious after mail heading to the main jail facility was found laced with methamphetamine. Margaret Morgan, 33, was suspected of sending the meth via mail. Investigators say she is the girlfriend of Christopher Anderson, 32, the drug package’s recipient. A search warrant was served last Thursday on the 4500 block of Auhay Drive in Santa Barbara, which led to five total arrests.

In addition to Morgan and Anderson, who were charged with allegedly transporting dangerous drugs into jail, Jennifer Ludford, 28; Jaime Estrada, 33; and Joe Hurtado, 34, were also taken into custody. Hurtado and Estrada were arrested for providing false information to police officers, while Ludford was purporedly under the influence and in possession of meth.

All five suspects were booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail. Anderson, who was already inside on unrelated charges, was re-booked for these additional suspected crimes.

If you've been involved in a crime, email crime@independent.com.

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