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Arrest Made in Narcotics Search of Carpinteria Business

Authorities believe Renee Zuniga, 31, of Ventura, was selling drugs in Santa Barbara County and storing them in the auto shop

Renee Zuniga
Renee Zuniga

Santa Barbara police arrested a 31-year-old Ventura man Tuesday after authorities found heroin, methamphetamine and more than $53,000 in cash stashed in the Carpinteria automotive business where he worked.

Narcotics detectives served a search warrant at Beach Motor and Tires in the 4800 block of Carpinteria Avenue about 1 p.m. as the culmination of a three-month investigation, which led authorities to believe Renee Zuniga, a parolee, was selling drugs in Santa Barbara County and storing them in the auto shop, according to Sgt. Riley Harwood.

While executing the warrant, Harwood said, detectives made contact with Zuniga and his father, Abel Zuniga, who owns the auto shop, according to an online business registry.

Harwood said detectives recovered 6 ounces of heroin and 9 grams methamphetamine — valued at $8,000 to $10,000 — along with more than $53,000 in cash.

Renee Zuniga was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of possession of heroin for sale and possession of methamphetamine for sale, with bail set at $30,000, Harwood said.

Zuniga was additionally booked on a no-bail parole hold, Harwood said.

The elder Zuniga was briefly detained during the search, which closed a portion of the business for some time, but was ultimately released, he said.

Harwood said the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department and state parole authorities assisted in the search.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff 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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