About 120 law enforcement officials from multiple agencies executed simultaneous search warrants on 11 South Coast homes around 6 a.m. on Friday, June 19. Officers arrested 22 individuals on drug-related charges.
Involved in the effort were members of the Santa Barbara Police Department, Santa Barbara Sheriff’s office, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Law enforcement officials have been unusually tightlipped about the outcome, stating that the investigation is still ongoing and many more arrests are expected. Representatives from different agencies said they expect the action to run its course within three weeks, at which point a more forthcoming explanation will be released. For the time being, however, they’re stating only that quantities of heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine have been seized and the men, women, and minors are among the arrested.
This marks the second time in the past year when the South Coast was the focus of such a large-scale, coordinated law enforcement action. The first was a gang sweep targeting East Side gangmembers, known as Operation Gator Roll, which took place last October. Gator Roll netted more than 200 arrests. Said one law enforcement officer, “This will make Gator Roll look like nothing.”