Alleged Heroin Dealer Sentenced to 9 Years in Prison

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Source: Santa Barbara County District Attorney

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced today that on January 8, 2019, Salvador Cortes Duran, age 56, was sentenced to nine years in state prison. The sentence was the result of a plea relating to his sale of heroin, possession of heroin for sale, and possession of several handguns.

On September 14, 2015, Narcotics Detectives with the Santa Barbara Police Department arrested two individuals who had purchased a large quantity of heroin from Salvador Cortes Duran in Oxnard and who had returned to Santa Barbara to sell the heroin.

On September 16, 2015, SBPD Narcotics Detectives served search warrants at three residences associated with Duran in Oxnard. During the searches, Detectives found 8.8 pounds of heroin, more than $96,000 in cash, four handguns, a bullet-proof vest, numerous cell phones, scales, and drug packaging materials. Another 50 grams of heroin packaged for sale was located in Duran’s vehicle.  The residence where Duran kept the heroin, the guns, and the bulk of his cash was located across the street from an elementary school in Oxnard. Duran was arrested and booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail, and subsequently charged in Santa Barbara with drug sales and weapons offenses. In October 2015, Duran was released from custody when family members posted bail in the amount of $500,000.

In May 2017, while the first case was pending in Santa Barbara, SBPD Detectives learned that Salvador Cortes Duran was once again selling heroin in Oxnard. On May 15, 2017, Narcotics Detectives served search warrants at three residences and two storage units in Oxnard associated with Duran. During the searches, Detectives found more than a pound of heroin and over $40,000 in cash, as well as another 1.4 ounces of heroin packaged for sale in his vehicle. Duran was arrested, booked into the Ventura County Jail, and charged in Ventura County with drug sales offenses, as well as committing new offenses while out on bail in the Santa Barbara case.

In June 2017, Salvador Cortes Duran was convicted in Ventura of felony possession of heroin for sale and misdemeanor child endangerment, and later sentenced to three years, four months in state prison. Duran was then brought back to Santa Barbara to face his pending charges here.

On August 21, 2018, Salvador Cortes Duran pled to one count of selling heroin, one count of possession of heroin for sale, one count of being in possession of a controlled substance with a loaded, operable handgun, and admitted enhancements for possessing more than four kilograms of heroin for sale and possessing heroin for sale within 1,000 feet of a school. On January 8, 2019, Duran was sentenced to 9 years in state prison for these offenses, to be added to his sentence in Ventura County, for a total of 12 years, four months in state prison.

District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley commends the tenacious efforts of the Santa Barbara Police Department for their thorough investigations and subsequent arrests, leading to the conviction of an unrelenting drug dealer in both Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. As a result, a significant quantity of heroin and firearms were taken off the streets. District Attorney Dudley went on to express her appreciation to Deputy District Attorney Anthony Davis for his resolute prosecution, emphasizing the tremendous public safety risk from those who sell heroin while armed with guns. “The deadly combination of narcotics and guns”, Dudley stated, “will always be zealously prosecuted in Santa Barbara County.” 

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