SANTA CRUZ (CBS SF) — Santa Cruz County and federal officials on Friday arrested a suspected large-scale distributor of heroin and methamphetamine in Santa Cruz after he had a child exit his vehicle and attempted to drive away from authorities, county officials said.
The Santa Cruz County Anti-Crime Team Narcotics task force, along with the team’s Gang task force and agents of the Department of Homeland Security made the arrest after a months-long investigation into alleged heroin sales by Hilario “Cholo” Garcia, 41, of Santa Cruz, task force officers said.READ MORE: Volunteers Spread Out Across Bay Area for Annual Coastal Cleanup
At 3:30 p.m. Friday, officers executed a search warrant at Garcia’s last known residence in the 300 block of Ocean Street and upon seeing them, the suspect had an 8-year-old child get out of a vehicle and he tried to drive away at a high rate of speed, officers said.
During his attempted escape, Garcia almost crashed into a peace officer, then drove over a curb and threw containers of heroin out of the vehicle before officers stopped him a short distance away, task force officials said.
Officers recovered additional quantities of packaged heroin inside Garcia’s vehicle, they said.
When he was arrested, Garcia attempted to use an alias, Jose Luis Negrete Avalos, but when he was booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail and fingerprinted, officers discovered his true identity, task force officials said.READ MORE: San Francisco Celebrates Rise of Lowrider Community With Car Show and Cruise
Inside the residence on Ocean Street, task force officers located weighing scales, empty packaging that appeared to have contained a kilogram of heroin inside it and around 6.5 ounces of heroin packaged for sale, officers said.
Authorities executed a second search warrant at Garcia’s other residence, where his wife and infant child also resided, and seized more than $27,000 cash, they said.
Working well into the evening, officers located another vehicle belonging to Garcia that was parked several blocks from the Ocean Street residence and inside found about 6 pounds of heroin and nearly 3 pounds of methamphetamine that together had a street value of more than $300,000, officers said.
Garcia was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment, assault on a peace officer, felony evasion from a peace officer, possession of heroin for sales and possession of methamphetamine for sales, task force officers said.MORE NEWS: San Francisco Schools, Public Health Dept. Partner to Provide Campus COVID Vaccinations
Many of the investigators remarked that it was the largest local seizure of heroin in recent memory, they said.