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Sheriff’s deputies discover drug lab at Goleta hotel

Posted at 10:16 PM, Jan 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-30 02:14:02-05

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office says it discovered a drug lab at a Goleta hotel Tuesday.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office says employees at the hotel, which is located in the 400 block of Stork Road in Goleta, called 911 Tuesday morning after they found suspicious chemicals in the boiler room.

Deputies responded to the scene and found what appeared to be a drug lab.

Santa Barbara County firefighters also responded to the scene in case there were any fire hazards associated with the drug lab. Investigators eventually determined there was no threat to the surrounding community, and no evacuations were needed. However, hotel guests were moved to a different part of the building.

Goleta drug lab
Photo Courtesy: Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office


During the investigation, narcotics detectives found evidence of a dimethyltryptamine (DMT) lab. They requested help from the Los Angeles Interagency Metropolitan Police Apprehension Crime Task Force. The team, which is mainly made up of LAPD officers, spent much of the day and evening processing the scene.

Investigators later identified Aaron Gorzeman, 37 of Oxnard, as the suspect. They say he previously worked at the hotel as a maintenance employee, but was already in custody in the Santa Barbara County Jail.

The Sheriff’s Office says Gorzeman had been arrested in the hotel parking lot on Saturday when deputies say he was in possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

Goleta hotel drug lab
Photo Courtesy: Santa Barbara County Sheriffs Office


Gorzeman was rebooked for an additional charge of drug manufacturing.

After the lab was discovered in the hotel, detectives obtained search warrants for the hotel and the suspect’s vehicle. Detectives say they found additional evidence of drug manufacturing inside the vehicle.

Gorzeman is being held on $100,000 bail.

DMT is a powerful hallucinogenic drug, and the manufacturing process involves highly toxic and flammable chemicals.