The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Dept., working with several other law enforcement agencies, made the largest brown powder heroin bust in the county’s history Tuesday, working off months of investigation.
A six-month investigation into suspected heroin and methamphetamine dealers in Santa Barbara County led detectives to arrest two individuals and recover nearly $200,000 worth of drugs. Four search warrants were served in the Santa Barbara area, and several firearms and more than $20,000 in cash were recovered in addition to the heroin and meth.
Approximately three and a half pounds of brown powder heroin, estimated to be worth $158,000 on the street, was recovered, as was a half-pound – or approximately $19,600 worth – of crystal meth. It was the largest bust of that variety of heroin in the Sheriff’s Dept. history.
According to the Sheriff’s Dept., black tar heroin is more common in the area, so brown powder heroin seizures are rare. Black tar heroin is produced mostly in Mexico and is generally cheaper than the purer brown powder. Black tar is among the most prevalent forms of heroin found in the Western United States.
The coalition of law enforcement agencies included the Sheriff’s Dept., the Narcotics Dept., the Santa Barbara and Santa Maria Police Depts. and the Santa Barbara Regional Narcotics Task Force.
The first suspect, Joanqiun Perez, was contacted and later arrested near his car. He was booked without bail due to violations of his parole.
The other, Gilbert Herrera, was contacted inside a residence on the 80 block of Vista Del Mar and was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail with bail set at $100,000.