Santa Barbara County detectives arrest three people after five-week long drug investigation

Posted at 9:45 PM, Aug 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-31 00:45:00-04

A Santa Maria man is in custody after a five-week long drug investigation.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office says several people were arrested and deputies seized methamphetamine, heroin, and money.

Detectives say Randall Nelson, 55 of Santa Maria, was identified as a local drug dealer. On Wednesday, detectives followed him to Ventura and saw him meeting with two other people. Those suspects were identified as Christian Omar Barcel Mendoza, 26 of Baldwin Park, and Julie Villa Roman, 24 of Baldwin Park. Detectives say the three exchanged a package and separated.

Detectives then followed Nelson and saw him enter a hotel room. Once he was in the room, detectives served a search warrant. They say they found five ounces of methamphetamine, one ounce of heroin, evidence of sales, pepper spray, and narcotic paraphernalia. Nelson was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and heroin for sale.

While detectives were serving the search warrant, other detectives followed Mendoza and Roman. Investigators say they drove to the City of el Monte in Los Angeles County and eventually stopped. Detectives searched the car and found a two-year-old child and $9,000 in cash. They say a narcotic detection dog also alerted to several areas in the vehicle, including the child’s car seat.

Roman and Mendoza were arrested. They face charges of possession of methamphetamine and heroin for sale, transportation of methamphetamine and heroin, as well as child endangerment. The child was taken into protective custody.