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Santa Barbara Police Arrest Alleged ‘Major’ Drug Supplier

Six-month investigation leads detectives to Luis Felipe Uriarte, as well as the confiscation of narcotics, cash and a weapon

Luis Felipe Uriarte
Luis Felipe Uriarte

Santa Barbara police announced Monday that they've arrested a "major supplier of illegal drugs" in the city after a six-month narcotics investigation, which led to the confiscation of nearly three pounds of cocaine and more than $25,000 from the suspect's Eastside home.

Luis Felipe Uriarte, 23, of Santa Barbara was arrested last Thursday morning on charges of cocaine for sale, transportation of cocaine and possession of methamphetamine for sale.

Large quantities of cocaine and cash were also seized during the operation, according to Sgt. Riley Harwood.

Santa Barbara narcotics detectives initiated an investigation into Uriarte’s narcotics activities in mid-2013, which resulted in the suspect being contacted during a traffic stop in the 900 block of Chapala Street at 8:30 a.m. last Thursday.

"Uriarte was found to be in possession of 10 ounces of cocaine and was subsequently arrested," Harwood said.

Detectives also searched Uriarte’s residence on the 00 block of Ocean View Avenue and found significant quantities of cocaine, methamphetamine and cash — proceeds from drug sales, Harwood said.

A .45-caliber pistol was also discovered.

Harwood said 2.8 pounds of cocaine, one ounce of methamphetamine and more than $25,000 in cash were seized. The value of the drugs was estimated in excess of $40,000.

Uriarte was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail with a bail amount of $100,000.

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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