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Saturday, December 15 , 2018, 11:10 am | Fair 61º


2 Arrested on Drug Charges after Fire Destroys De la Vina Apartment

Investigators uncover an illegal marijuana conversion operation inside the unit

Fire destroyed one apartment and caused significant damage to another at a multiresidential complex at 1023 De la Vina St. on Friday morning. The unit was unoccupied at the time of the blaze, and no one was injured.

The one unit and its contents were a total loss. The occupants of the two adjacent apartments were able to escape after being alerted to the emergency by smoke detectors.

Arson investigators with the Santa Barbara Fire Department sifted through the ashes of the interior, assisted by detectives with the Santa Barbara Police Department.

Luis Antonio Murillo Aguirre
Luis Antonio Murillo Aguirre

Police Lt. Paul McCaffrey, a department spokesman, said about a pound of marijuana was found inside a locked fire-proof safe, and 30 to 40 cans of butane were scattered throughout the residence. Investigators determined that the blaze was the direct result of an illegal marijuana conversion operation, and that the residents were using highly flammable butane to convert marijuana from leaf form to concentrated oil to sell to a dispensary.

Krista Marie Gary
Krista Marie Gary

Luis Antonio Murillo Aguirre, 30, and Krista Marie Gary, 23, both of Santa Barbara, were arrested on charges of unlawful possession of marijuana for sale, unlawful conversion of marijuana to a concentrated form and conspiracy to commit these crimes.

Noozhawk managing editor Michelle Nelson can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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