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Sheriff: Wanted man found hiding in underground bunker in Santa Maria field

Posted at 5:52 PM, May 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-23 20:52:48-04

Police arrested a wanted man who they say was found hiding in an underground bunker in a Santa Maria field on Monday.

According to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, an investigation into stolen property from several farms in the Santa Maria area led investigators to the area of A Street and La Brea Ave.

They reportedly found what appeared to be a transient camp in the middle of a field. Sheriff’s officials say there was welding equipment, grinders, hand tools, battery chargers, identification documents, sports memorabilia, and a laptop computer hidden in the area.

They also reportedly found a 10-foot deep hole in the ground that led to an underground bunker.

Photo courtesy Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office


Sheriff’s officials say they found meth pipes and suspected methamphetamine in the bunker, as well as power cords connected to a nearby power pole. It appeared the adjacent property owner’s electricity was being stolen.

During the search, sheriff’s officials say Santa Maria police, who were assisting deputies, found Daniel Nunez, 31, hiding inside the bunker, covered in dirt and grass. They say Nunez originally provided deputies with a fake name but was determined to have two outstanding warrants for his arrest.

Daniel Nunez


Nunez was arrested for the warrants, as well as suspicion of possession of a controlled substance, possession of unlawful drug paraphernalia, being under the influence of a controlled substance, providing false identification to a peace officer, and theft of utility services.

Sheriff’s officials say the sports memorabilia, identification documents, and laptop computer were linked to a couple of burglaries that had occurred in the City of Santa Maria and that property is in the process of being returned to the owners.

Photo courtesy Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office