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Sheriff’s Deputies Arrest 2 After Discovering Suspected Drug Lab in Old Town Goleta

Two Oregon residents arrested after investigation at apartment on Armitos Avenue

Emergency personnel were called out Tuesday evening to an apartment in Old Town Goleta after a suspected drug lab was discovered.
Emergency personnel were called out Tuesday evening to an apartment in Old Town Goleta after a suspected drug lab was discovered. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)

Emergency personnel who were called out to an apartment in Old Town Goleta Tuesday evening discovered a suspected drug lab and arrested two Oregon residents accused of attempting to manufacture a hallucinogenic drug, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

The incident began shortly before 5 p.m. at an apartment on the 5500 block of Armitos Avenue, said Kelly Hoover, a sheriff’s spokeswoman.

“Sheriff's deputies responded to a call from a property owner requesting assistance to remove several unwanted subjects from an apartment," Hoover said. "When deputies arrived, no one was inside the apartment, but they discovered what appeared to be a drug lab."

The apartment was sealed off, and it was determined there was no need to evacuate the surrounding area, Hoover said.

As a precaution, the deputies who first responded to the scene were treated for potential exposure to chemicals, but no injuries were reported. Santa Barbara County fire crews also responded to the incident.

Adam Estenson, 28, and Jana Santo, 36, both of Ashland, Oregon, were reportedly staying in the apartment while the resident was in the hospital, she said Wednesday. 

Sheriff’s narcotics detectives and the Los Angeles Interagency Metropolitan Police Apprehension Crime Task Force conducted an investigation and determined the subjects were attempting to produce dimethyltryptamine, a hallucinogenic drug, Hoover said.

Estenson and Santo were located in the parking lot of Cottage Hospital and arrested on suspicion of manufacturing a controlled substance. They were both booked into the County Jail on $75,000 bail.

Illegal drug manufacturing labs are volatile and capable of creating large explosions, Hoover said.

Manufacturing DMT requires extracting chemicals from root bark using highly toxic and flammable chemicals over an open flame, Hoover said.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton 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.

Investigators discovered a suspected drug lab in a Goleta apartment Tuesday night. Click to view larger
Investigators discovered a suspected drug lab in a Goleta apartment Tuesday night.  (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department photo)

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