The following is taken from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department commander's recap for the Santa Ynez Valley patrol. Those appearing as "arrested" have only been arrested on suspicion of the crime indicated and are presumed innocent.

Monday, Jan. 22:

ARREST — About 3:10 a.m., deputies were called to the Conserv Fuel gasoline station on Highway 246 in Buellton where a driver was slumped over the wheel of his vehicle. For several minutes he did not wake as deputies knocked on his window and shook him.

The unidentified man eventually regained consciousness but was incoherent. When he did become somewhat coherent, he admitted to consuming 6 ounces of bourbon and three glasses of wine, then attempting to drive to his home from Los Olivos

However, he realized he was too intoxicated to drive, so he pulled into the gas station and passed out.

The man had two previous arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol and was on probation, so he submitted to a preliminary alcohol screening and a subsequent evidential portable alcohol system test, both of which returned a blood alcohol percentage of 0.16, twice the level that determines intoxication.

He was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol content above 0.08 and was taken to Santa Barbara Jail.

Tuesday, Jan. 23:

ARREST — Deputies investigating a report of a suspicious person about 11:35 p.m. in the 2000 block of Mission Drive in Solvang found Allen Bell, who was on probation in Sacramento County for assault with a deadly weapon and in Santa Barbara County for possessing someone else’s identification.

During a probation compliance search, he was allegedly found in possession of numerous items that did not belong to him, and he was placed under arrest on suspicion of theft and booked into Santa Barbara County Jail.

Wednesday, Jan. 24:

ARREST — When deputies stopped a woman just after 2 p.m. in the 100 block of Sanja Cota Ave. in Santa Ynez, she was allegedly driving with a suspended license and failed to provide proof of registration.

Tracy Lynn Butzen was arrested on an outstanding misdemeanor warrant and booked into Lompoc Police Department Jail.

Thursday, Jan. 25:

ARREST — A report of a drunk person in the valet parking area about 8:30 a.m. brought deputies to the Chumash Casino, where they found James Michael Lopez allegedly slurring his speech, smelling of alcohol and unable to care for himself.

He was arrested on suspicion of being drunk in public.

INCIDENT — After a man entered El Rancho Market in Santa Ynez and allegedly left without paying for a packaged sushi plate about 10:25 p.m., he was detained by the assistant manager until deputies arrived.

The manager signed a citizen’s arrest form, and the man was cited for shoplifting and released at the scene.

ARREST — Deputies on a routine foot patrol abut 12:30 a.m. inside the parking structure at the Chumash Casino spotted two people sitting inside a vehicle.

A records check revealed an arrest warrant had been issued in Ventura County for the driver, Christian Sanchez.

They also found two arrest warrants had been issued in Los Angeles County for the passenger, Claudia Vargas, who allegedly gave deputies her sister’s name and was in possession of identification with someone else’s name. She also was allegedly in possession of a methamphetamine pipe.

Both Sanchez and Vargas were arrested on the outstanding warrants, and while Vagas was being transported, she was allegedly seen on the in-car camera system emptying her pockets of what deputies said was a usable amount of methamphetamine.

Vargas was subsequently booked on suspicion of theft, destruction of evidence and false impersonation.

INCIDENT — Deputies contacted a woman on the gaming floor of the Chumash Casino about 2:20 a.m. and found she was on probation. During a probationary search, she was allegedly found in possession of methamphetamine and was showing symptoms of being under the influence of a controlled substance.

She provided a urine sample which allegedly tested positive for methamphetamine.

The woman was cited for suspicion of probation violation, possession of a controlled substance and being under the influence of a controlled substance and released at the scene.

Saturday, Jan. 27:

INCIDENT — A woman contacted by deputies on foot patrol inside the Chumash Casino parking structure about 2:15 a.m. was asked if she was in possession of any illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia.

She admitted she had a methamphetamine pipe in her purse, and deptuties allegedly found the clear pipe. She was cited for suspicion of possessing drug paraphernalia and was released.

INCIDENT — Deputies who stopped a vehicle at Highway 246 and Refugio Road about 3:15 a.m. found the driver appeared to be under the influence of alcohol.

A preliminary alcohol screening showed a blood alcohol content of 0.084 percent. Two evidentiary samples indicated a blood alcohol content of 0.07 and 0.08 percent.

The man was cited for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and driving under the influence with a blood alcohol content greater than 0.08 and was released to a sober responsible party.

ARREST — After a citizen reported a possible drunken driver in the area of Mission Drive and Fifth Street in Solvang, deputies located the suspect’s vehicle and driver about 9:15 p.m.

Deputies said Santiago Mucuquip was driving without a license and performed poorly on field sobriety tests, so a warrant for a blood test was obtained. He was subsequently arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

INCIDENT — Two people sitting in a car in the Park ‘n’ Ride lot on Highway 246 west of the traffic circle at Highway 154 were contacted by deputies about 10 p.m.

The passenger allegedly had an open container of alcohol between his legs, and during a search of the vehicle deputies allegedly found a total of three grams wedged between the passenger seat and center console and in the driver’s purse. A butterfly knife also was allegedly discovered in the rear passenger door compartment.

The two were cited for suspicion of possessing a controlled substance, possessing an illegal weapon and having an open container in the car and released at the scene.


News Editor

Mike Hodgson is news editor at the Santa Ynez Valley News, where he writes about local government, special events and the people who live in the Valley. He has been a photographer, writer, news editor and managing editor at weekly newspapers since 1972

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