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Tuesday, February 19 , 2019, 4:28 pm | Fair 55º


Market Butchers Arrested on Drug-Related Charges

Santa Barbara police say one man admitted selling cocaine and meth from the store

Isidro Diaz Vasquez
Isidro Diaz Vasquez

Santa Barbara police detectives arrested two butchers Tuesday at a Milpas Street-area market on drug-related charges, with one of the men reportedly admitting to selling cocaine and methamphetamine out of the store, and the other charged with being under the influence of a controlled substance.

Police arrested Isidro Diaz Vasquez, 49, on charges of felony transportation and possession of both cocaine and methamphetamine for sale.

Vasquez was an employee at the Chapala Market at 605 N. Milpas St., along with Artemio Cazares Ortega, 29, who was arrested on an unrelated outstanding arrest warrant and also was charged with being under the influence of a controlled substance.

Police say Vasquez admitted to selling drugs from Chapala Market during school hours and said he had accepted property, including some that had been stolen, in exchange for drugs.

“At this time, the investigation does not indicate that Vasquez sold drugs to Santa Barbara Junior High students, nor does it indicate that his employer was involved,” police Sgt. Riley Harwood said in a statement issued Wednesday.

Before the arrest, warrants were obtained and detectives searched Vasquez’s Santa Paula home, his vehicles and Chapala Market.

He was stopped by detectives in Santa Barbara County while driving to work. Officers recovered 14 packages of methamphetamine, or 3.8 grams, and 10 packages of cocaine, or 3.5 grams, at the time of his arrest.

Inside his home, detectives found 12.7 grams of cocaine, a 9 mm handgun and a .22 caliber rifle, plus 27 cell phones, 18 iPods, and four laptop computers. The investigation into the nature of these items is continuing.

Artemio Cazares Ortega
Artemio Cazares Ortega

At the market, detectives located a gram scale they believe was used to weigh narcotics. They also arrested Ortega at the market.

Detectives estimated the street value of the drugs in Vasquez’s possession at about $1,000.

Both men were booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail. Vasquez’s bail was set at $30,000. Bail for Ortega was set at $2,500. Ortega was also booked on his unrelated $10,000 misdemeanor warrant, for DUI.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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