Thursday, July 20 , 2017, 2:43 pm | Fair 73º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Mother Facing Drug, Child-Endangerment Charges

Ana Teresa Morales

A Santa Barbara mother of three is facing drug and child-endangerment charges after a two-month investigation by the Santa Barbara Police Department.

Ana Teresa Morales, 29, whose children range in age from 4 to 14, was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine and cocaine for sale, as well as child endangerment. according to police Sgt. Riley Harwood.

Her bail was set at $100,000.

Detectives obtained a search warrant for Morales' residence on the 2500 block of De La Vina last week, Harwood said, and placed her under surveillance.

"On the morning of Feb. 28 ... she was contacted after she was observed dropping her two youngest children off at their respective schools," Harwood said.

Officers searched her vehicle immediately afterwards, and found two small bags of methamphetamine totaling two grams in the unlocked center console of the car, Harwood said.

"Both the drugs in the car and in the family home were kept within easy reach of the children, and could have resulted in injury or death if ingested," Harwood said in explaining the child-endangerment charge.

A subsequent search of her home turned up 7.5 ounces of methamphetamine and half an ounce of cocaine, as well as $485 in cash, Harwood said, adding that the drugs were valued at $5,300.

"Some of the drugs were stored in the bathroom of the residence, including inside a cup on the bathroom counter next to the family’s toothbrushes," Harwood said. "These drugs, too, would have been within easy reach of the children living there."

Morales’ children were taken into the care of Santa Barbara County Child Welfare Services.

Noozhawk intern Megan Monroe can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >