The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office arrested two suspects Thursday morning in direct connection with the Jan. 7 double homicide on Burtis Street near Goleta, Sheriff Bill Brown announced at a press conference on Thursday afternoon. Two unrelated arrests were also made as a result of the investigation.

Brown said during the press conference that the case is still under investigation and that he hopes to provide further developments at a later date. Courtesy of KEYT

The arrests, a product of four separate search warrants executed in the City of Santa Barbara this morning, include 21-year-old Bryan Munoz, 24-year-old Joshua Isaac Vega, 32-year-old Jorge Luiz Silva Guevara and a 15-year-old juvenile, Brown said, all of whom are affiliated with an undisclosed criminal street gang. 

Munoz, one of two suspects arrested in direct connection to the case, was charged with two counts of murder, robbery, criminal conspiracy and a felony committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang. He is being held in custody without bail, Brown said. Vega, the other suspect arrested in direct connection to the case, was charged with robbery and criminal conspiracy and is being held on $50,000 bail. 

Guevara was arrested for possession of narcotics for sales and the 15-year-old juvenile was arrested on an outstanding warrant following a probation violation, Brown continued. 

Brown described the double homicide as a “robbery ripoff,” in which the two 19-year-old victims, Santa Barbara City College student Enzo Marino Rastelli and UC Santa Barbara student Jasper Pieter van der Meulen, planned to sell at least half a pound of marijuana to the suspects but were robbed instead. 

Rastelli was pronounced dead at the scene while van der Meulen was taken to the hospital in critical condition, where he passed away on Jan. 29. 

Brown said during the press conference that the case is still under investigation and that he hopes to provide further developments at a later date.

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Max Abrams
Max Abrams serves as the lead news editor for the 2020-2021 school year. He is from Buffalo. That's all you need to know.