Suspect Arrested with Narcotics for Sale and Replica Firearm

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Source: Santa Barbara Police Department

On April 17, 2021 around 7:40pm, an Officer was on patrol in the area of 200 N. Quarantina Street when they noticed a vehicle commit a traffic violation. During a traffic stop, the driver provided a false name to the Officer. After further investigation, the driver finally provided his correct name, Alejandro Alvarez (30 years old), a Santa Barbara resident. Alvarez did not want to provide his true identity for fear of potential arrest. It was discovered Alvarez was driving on an expired driver’s license.

During a search of the vehicle, Officers located drug paraphernalia, live ammunition, credit cards that didn’t belong to him, and a large amount of money.    

One of Santa Barbara Police Department’s K-9 Officers responded to the scene with a specially trained dog that detects narcotics to examine Alvarez’s vehicle. 

The K-9 alerted the Officers to the potential of more narcotics inside the vehicle. Searching further, Officers discovered heroin, a large amount of methamphetamine and cocaine. Also located inside the vehicle was a stun-gun and a replica firearm.   

Alvarez was taken into custody and was booked in the Santa Barbara County Jail for:

  • Possession for Sales Cocaine – 11351 H&S Felony,  
  • Possession for Sales Methamphetamine – 11379 H&S Felony,  
  • Possession for Transportation Cocaine – 11352 H&S Felony,
  • Possession for Transportation Methamphetamine – 11378 H&S Felony, 
  • Felon in Possession of Stun-Gun – 22610 PC Felony, 
  • Felon in Possession of Ammunition - 30305 PC Felony, 
  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – 11364 H&S Misdemeanor, and 
  • False Identification to a Peace Officer – 148.9 PC Misdemeanor.  

 

Alvarez is currently being held on $35,000 bail.  

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doulie Apr 20, 2021 08:58 PM
Suspect Arrested with Narcotics for Sale and Replica Firearm

I'll guess the PD article did not contain all the officers report information relative to this arrest which leaves me with a question. After the stop, the officer learns the suspect gave him a phony name (an ID crime) & subsequently learned his true name through "further investigation," i.e., questioning? Should the officer have advised the suspect of his rights after learning the initial name provided was phony and before continuing his questioning/investigation regarding the suspects name?

JB86 Apr 20, 2021 11:21 PM
Suspect Arrested with Narcotics for Sale and Replica Firearm

Doulie: Nope, a suspect doesn't get a rights warning until they are placed under arrest, per Miranda and case law. Once he provided a false ID, that was a crime and gave police the right to further investigate. Once they established his ID, they knew he was a convicted felon. It doesn't say so here but that often means they are on parole or probation, which usually has search terms allowing unrestricted search. That's one way it could have gone down.

doulie Apr 21, 2021 08:25 AM
Suspect Arrested with Narcotics for Sale and Replica Firearm

JB86 - If the suspect was known to be a felon on parole/probation that allows him to be searched, I have no question, it's game over and off to jail. But, my concern is based simply on information in the article. What I'd like to learn is the justification to search the car. In the past, from what I've read in the media and heard regarding issues of this type, once a person is suspected of a crime they can't be questioned without the rights advisement. The officer was given a false name which is a crime. I'll guess the "further investigation" that led to the suspects true name was that he was further questioned without a rights advisement about this crime. Shouldn't this suspect have been given his rights prior to further questioning about the false ID? If the suspect was arrested (after) his true name was learned (without a rights advisement), is the search of the car legal?

JB86 Apr 21, 2021 11:51 AM
Suspect Arrested with Narcotics for Sale and Replica Firearm

Doulie; the short answer is no, a person doesn't get a rights advisory unless placed under arrest. They can be 'detained' during an investigation to determine the scope of possible crime/s, but the Miranda warning isn't required in that process. There are a lot of ways this could have become a vehicle search, including a voluntary permission, believe it or not - it happens, but in this case more likely based on the suspect's probation or parole status. Another way is if the cops see something suspicious visible in the car, or find a violation during the initial body search (permitted based on the false ID offense).

cwazny Apr 21, 2021 03:14 PM
Suspect Arrested with Narcotics for Sale and Replica Firearm

OGSB - No. It doesn't matter. A traffic violation, is a traffic violation. It doesn't matter whether it was a failure to signal, crossing a double yellow, illegal lane change, or speeding. They're all probable cause for a traffic stop. And, once stopped, they're going to ask for your information. So, no. It doesn't matter. If there was no probable cause for the stop, then everything that was seized as evidence due to that stop can be thrown out in court, and a dismissal of the charges would be likely. That's the law.at

doulie Apr 21, 2021 07:43 PM
Suspect Arrested with Narcotics for Sale and Replica Firearm

JB86 - Ok. Alvarez was "detained" after he gave the officer a false name. IMO Alvarez was "arrested" as I doubt the officers would have allowed him to walk or drive away. Arrest/detention is another good topic for conversation. Being a suspect in an ID crime, (if) Alvarez was questioned further about this crime without being advised of Miranda there could be a problem. IMO, I don't believe anything he says from the time he was a suspect and (not) advised of his rights can be used against him. It's my understanding once I'm suspected of a crime I must be advised of my rights before any questioning about the crime. If this is accurate, any statement(s) about his ID that led to a search of the car or his arrest IMO might be a problem.

RHS Apr 20, 2021 06:08 PM
Suspect Arrested with Narcotics for Sale and Replica Firearm

Approval of the detention on such suspicious grounds is unhealthy for our society. Yes, we are happy that in this case a bad guy was apprehended. But such detentions happen dozens of times without more serious results. Dozens of folks are aware that they go out in public at the whim of the police. Didn't we just see a killing of a young black man who was pulled over for registration problems or was it a hanging freshener? Living in a society which gives cops this discretion is pretty scary if you are not of the same culture as the cops.

RHS Apr 21, 2021 11:29 AM
Suspect Arrested with Narcotics for Sale and Replica Firearm

915FILMS: The allegation without specifics that "they" or "an officer" "noticed" a traffic violation is pretty suspect. One cannot drive anywhere without an allegation of appearing to commit a possible traffic violation. These sort of detentions do not often happen in this sort of low key business/residential areas. These sort of detentions are often subterfuge for selective deprivation of constitutional protections for certain groups of people. If you don't believe this happens you haven't lived in the world of a huge portion of our populace experiences.

CoastWatch Apr 20, 2021 07:20 PM
Suspect Arrested with Narcotics for Sale and Replica Firearm

This POS individual has no doubt been in and out of custody, trials and custody over and over... I will bet $100 that The SB Housing Authority is providing taxpayer fund housing for this idiot as well.

sbdude Apr 21, 2021 12:57 PM
Suspect Arrested with Narcotics for Sale and Replica Firearm

@RHS: Cop pulls you over for a traffic violation, happens hundreds of times a day all over the city. I am speculating here but they probably run the plate prior to approaching the car, which (if the car belonged to Alvarez) would indicate it was owned by a felon on parole. Cop approaches car, asks for license and registration, easily catching Alvarez's lies. At this point the cop has every right to search. And as for Miranda rights, as I recall from my wayward youth the times they have been read to me were always after the phrase "you are under arrest..."

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