The Isla Vista Foot Patrol arrested a number of people in a single incident this past weekend on narcotics related charges.
As of Tuesday, only three police reports by the IVFP detailing the incident were available to Nexus staff. Lt. Sol Linver of the IVFP said Tuesday that the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s office has not filed charges against any of the people arrested. The deputy district attorney in charge of narcotics was not available for comment.
In the available reports, second-year undeclared UCSB student Amanda Nicole Ciccarelli, a native of Capitola, was arrested for one count of possession of cocaine with the intent to sell, a federal felony; one count of transportation of narcotics, a federal felony; and one count of possession of marijuana smoking paraphernalia, a misdemeanor, the police report stated. According to the report, Ciccarelli was also found to be in possession of packaging material and devices for weighing specific amounts of narcotics.
The reports also stated Meghan Clare Palma, a third-year communication major at UCSB and native of San Francisco, was arrested for one count of possession of cocaine, a federal felony; one count of possession of narcotic paraphernalia, a misdemeanor; and one count of being under the influence of cocaine, a misdemeanor.
Jennifer Lynn Chen, a UCSB student, was arrested for one count of possession of narcotic paraphernalia; one count of possession of less than 1 oz of marijuana, under the state penal code; and one count of a county ordinance against possession of marijuana smoking paraphernalia, the report said.
The remaining police reports detailing other arrests were not available at press time.
On Sunday morning around 2 a.m., two IVFP officers patrolling the 6500 block of Sabado Tarde Rd. saw a group of people through an open sliding glass door, at 6538 Sabado Tarde Rd. Apt. #1, smoking from what looked like a bong, the police report said. As the officers approached the residence, the occupants using the bong tried to hide it.
The report said that as one of the officers got closer to the entrance of the apartment, he saw an unidentified woman sitting on the floor, using a credit card to chop up white powder. The powder later tested positive for cocaine, the report said.
Based on what the officers saw, they entered the residence with probable cause.
The report said Ciccarelli, who was sitting at the kitchen table, threw a number of zip-loc bags into a red shopping bag.
The report stated officers searched the red bag and found one cell phone belonging to Ciccarelli; one digital camera which contained pictures of Ciccarelli and “images larges amounts of drugs;” one white purse containing zip-loc bags, one of which contained 23.4 grams of cocaine, one spoon with a white powdery residue on it; a check made out to Ciccarelli; a glass marijuana pipe with burn residue in the bowl; a razor with a white powder residue and $191.47 in cash.
People in the house were reluctant to identify who provided the narcotics, but when asked directly if Ciccarelli was the supplier, the occupants answered, “Yes,” the report said.
When later questioned at the IVFP station, Ciccarelli initially denied involvement in the incident, saying she was at the apartment to visit a friend, the report said. Upon hearing that the other people in the house said she was the supplier of the narcotics, Ciccarelli admitted to traveling to Santa Cruz for the specific purpose of obtaining cocaine to return to Santa Barbara to sell, the report said.
Ciccarelli said she has retained an attorney.
“My attorney is trying to drop the intent to sell charge and reduce it to possession [of a controlled substance],” she said. “I wasn’t selling at the house.”
Ciccarelli also said the IVFP did not believe her story.
“They were treating us abusively. They locked us in a room for six hours and didn’t let us use the bathroom. They were teasing us every time we started to cry.”
Sgt. Steve Johnson, the senior officer who was on duty at the time of the arrests and the person who approved the police incident reports declined to comment, only saying that the people taken into custody were not kept waiting for six hours. He deferred further questions to the county’s public information officer. The public information officer for the county was not available for comment.
Ciccarelli worked for about one year as a copy reader at the Daily Nexus. Palma has worked at the newspaper for nearly two years and is the current opinions page editor. Both employees are on leave from their positions pending the closing of their cases, Daily Nexus editor in chief Daniel Haier said.
Palma said she would be taking some time off from school and work in order to enter into a rehabilitation program.
“Right now, my main concern is recovery,” she said. “Obviously there are mistakes I’ve made in the past few months I need to face, and I’m ready to do that. All I want is to fight my way back to a life where I’m happy and healthy again.”