IV Drug Bust Uncovers Cache of Cocaine, Ecstasy


Giuseppe Ricapito
IV Beat Reporter

After midnight on Saturday, Oct. 26, the Santa Barbara Regional Narcotic Enforcement Team (SBRNET) successfully raided an apartment located at 6631 Picasso Road Apartment #2, uncovering a collection of stimulants and mystery pills. Dalton Turney, a local resident and student, and Razel Tarantino, of Woodland Hills, California, both 21, were promptly detained upon returning to the apartment and arrested on charges of drug possession and conspiracy to sell.

Witness accounts from the local community noted the police force occupied the investigation area for several hours, but no one was present in the residence during the time of the raid.

According to a Oct. 28 press release from SBRNET, “Agents seized approximately 156 grams (approximately 5.5 ounces) of cocaine, 49 Tablets of MDMA (ecstasy), and approximately 40 pills of a yet to be identified drug.”

Turney and Tarantino were released on $300,000 and $20,000 bail, respectively, but an arraignment date has yet to be determined.

Chris Nyvold, a commander with SBRNET, declined to comment on the investigation surrounding Turney and Tarantino. However, he did comment on the drug problem in Isla Vista.

“Isla Vista does have a drug problem,” said Nyvold. “Isla Vista is just as serious a situation as other parts of Santa Barbara.”

SBRNET is billed on the county website as a “Special Program” of the County of Santa Barbara, “a multi-jurisdictional law enforcement team…in narcotic suppression” which “targets, investigates and prosecutes” persons involved with explicitly “high-level drug trafficking enterprises.”

Nyvold declined to classify this particular case as “high-level,” but related the mandate of his team.

“The Task Force mission is to diminish drug trafficking throughout Santa Barbara,” Nyvold said.

While this was a relatively large drug bust, in significant terms of regional production, distribution, and consumption, it only makes a blip. For comparison, the Oct. 30 arrest of Ventura-based Hernan Lizardo Gutierrez brought in a total cache that weighed in in at 7 times greater than the one found in IV and which also featured $90,000 in cash, according to the Santa Barbara Independent.

Kelly Hoover, Public Information Officer for the Santa Barbara Sherriff’s Office, commented generally on the directive of Santa Barbara drug-suppression authorities.

“We have a very proactive Narcotics Investigative team and we have many different methods of investigating illegal drug activity,” Hoover said. “We do rely on citizen tips to help us find individuals involved in buying and selling narcotics and appreciate the public’s assistance in these investigations.”