Comments Off on Santa Barbara butcher trades Meth for iPods, laptops, police say

The Santa Barbara Police Department on Tuesday arrested a butcher at Chapala Market who allegedly traded cocaine and methamphetamines for iPods and laptop computers.

Authorities arrested Isidro Diaz Vasquez, 49, after an investigation that began last year.

Vasquez, Isidro Diaz

Vasquez was booked at Santa Barbara County Jail for the following felonies: possession of cocaine for sale, transportation of cocaine, possession of methamphetamine for sale, and transportation of methamphetamine.  His bail was set at $30,000.

Authorities obtained an arrest and search warrant for Vasquez. They arrested Vasquez on Tuesday as he was driving to work at Chapala Market, 605 North Milpas Street. Police said they found 14 packages of methamphetamine and 10 packages of cocaine on Vasquez at the time of his arrest. With the help of a police dog, authorities then found 12.7 grams of cocaine, a 9 mm handgun, and a .22 caliber rifle at his home, on the 600 block of Casabella Court in Santa Paula.

The drugs seized were valued at $1,000.

Later, police found a gram scale used to weigh narcotics at the Chapala Market.

Police at Chapala Market also arrested a different butcher, Artemio Cazares Ortega, 29, for an unrelated outstanding arrest warrant and for being under the influence of a controlled substance.

Vasquez admitted to selling drugs from Chapala Market during school time hours, authorities said.

He also said that he had been accepting property, sometimes stolen property, in exchange for drugs, authorities said.  Police found 27 cell phones, 18 iPods, and 4 laptop computers inside Vasquez’s home.

Authorities said they have no evidence that the butcher sold drugs to students at the nearby Santa Barbara Junior High.

Ortega was booked at County Jail for the misdemeanor of being under the influence of a controlled substance with a bail of $2,500.00.  Additionally, he was booked on his unrelated $10,000 misdemeanor warrant, which was for DUI.



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