The owner of a Santa Cruz automotive store and another man were arrested after detectives searched the shop and allegedly found illegal drugs and stolen property Thursday afternoon, according to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office. Detectives issued a search warrant at Gondez Tires and Wheels at 2871 Soquel Ave. around 2:30 p.m., officials said. They found 35 grams of cocaine, 21 grams of methamphetamine, 9 grams of heroin and more than $2,000 in cash.
The store’s owner, 41-year-old Hector Quinones Velasquez, was arrested on suspicion of drug influence, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of stolen property. Velasquez allegedly had a laptop computer in his possession that was stolen in a residential burglary, the sheriff’s office said. Juan Chavez, 38, was also arrested on suspicion of possession for sales of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, and drug influence. He originally told detectives his name was Eleazar Contreras, but when he was booked into jail, his fingerprints identified him as Chavez, deputies said.
In 1999, Chavez was deported as an illegal alien after being arrested in Los Angeles for marijuana sales, according to the sheriff’s office. The Santa Cruz County Anti-Crime Team provided assistance in the investigation. Gondez Tires and Wheels was closed for about four hours during the operation.
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