Tuesday, October 25 , 2016, 9:28 pm | Partly Cloudy 57º


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.

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