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Three Men Facing Charges After Marijuana Bust

Sheriff's narcotics detectives serve search warrants at residences in Goleta, Montecito and Summerland

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department narcotics detectives Wednesday concluded a monthlong investigation into suspected illegal marijuana cultivators and traffickers in Santa Barbara County.

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Misha Aaron Ford

Detectives were originally alerted to the suspects when they intercepted a parcel containing marijuana that was being shipped to New York. Detectives served three search warrants, including residences in the 2100 block of East Valley Road in Montecito, the 100 block of Verona Avenue in Goleta and the 100 block of Valencia Road in Summerland.

During the service of the search warrants Wednesday, detectives contacted Misha Aaron Ford, 35, of Summerland; Donald Bullick, 60, of Montecito; and Michael Shapiro, 69, of Goleta, and found more than 400 active marijuana plants in sophisticated indoor and outdoor marijuana gardens.

Additionally, detectives seized five pounds of processed marijuana with a street value of $20,000, 4 grams of cocaine with a street value of $400, a usable amount of psilocybin, several ecstasy pills and about $18,000 in cash.

Authorities said evidence at the residences showed that all three suspects were illegally cultivating and selling the marijuana outside the scope of Proposition 215.

During the investigation, authorities said Ford sold marijuana openly in the presence of an undercover officer. Additionally, Ford and Shapiro were shipping pounds of the processed marijuana to the East Coast, including New York and New Jersey, officers said. The total value of the marijuana plants seized during the investigation was estimated at $800,000.

Ford was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail with bail set at $30,000 because of violations. He faces charges of conspiracy, cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sales, possession of cocaine, possession of ecstasy and transportation of marijuana.

Bullick faces charges of conspiracy, cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sales and possession of psilocybin.

Charges submitted to the District Attorney’s Office for Shapiro included conspiracy, cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sales and transportation of marijuana.

Bullick and Shapiro were cited and released.

— Drew Sugars is spokesman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

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