The Santa Barbara Police Department’s announced progress this
week in a year-long investigation targeting a tightly knit drug
distribution ring. In mid-October and on November 2, the SBPD’s
Narcotics Task Force arrested 25 people believed to be mid-level
and upper-level dealers, charging them with offenses ranging from
possession for sales to conspiracy.
Most of the suspects are males in their 30s and many are related
to each other. Those related suspects have close ties to the
Sinaloa region in Mexico, home of folk hero Jesus
Malverde, a 19th century bandit (icon pictured) often
worshipped as the Angel of the Poor. More recently, he’s been
labeled a “narco saint” and his shrine near Culiacán, Mexico
attracts hundreds of pilgrims each year.
Six vehicles, $15,000 in cash, and more than six pounds of
cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin have been seized. Numerous law
enforcement agencies cooperated in the investigation, and more
arrests are expected, according to police.