General Crime

Three Arrested in Santa Cruz for Alleged Drug Dealing

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Three men were arrested for alleged dealing drugs to an undercover officer in downtown Santa Cruz on Friday, a sheriff’s sergeant said. An undercover Santa Cruz police officer working in partnership with the Santa Cruz County Anti-Crime Team’s Narcotics and Gang Task Forces helped conduct the operation, Stefan Fish said. The undercover officer was deployed after the police department and the sheriff’s office received numerous reports that drug dealing was taking place in various parts of Santa Cruz, Fish said.

The undercover police officer solicited people for controlled substances such as methamphetamine, heroin or cocaine, Fish said. Within minutes of the start of the operation the undercover officer contacted a transient man at the Pacific Garden Mall who facilitated a purchase of methamphetamine from another man.

The undercover officer met the methamphetamine dealer, identified as 49-year-old Watsonville resident Terry Spann, on the footbridge leading from Felker Street to the Gateway Plaza, according to Fish. Spann was arrested for possession of controlled substances for sales. He was found to be in possession of approximately 18 grams of suspected methamphetamine, Fish said.

Watsonville resident Thomas Kehler, 58, was also arrested for dealing drugs to the undercover police officer, Fish said. An identified suspect who deputies determined to be on post-release community supervision left the area prior to a drug deal occurring and deputies will seek an arrest warrant for him, the sheriff’s sergeant said.

The undercover officer also solicited a transient man, identified as Eric Cash, 39, in the CVS parking lot in the 1600 block of Front Street. Cash sold suspected methamphetamine to the officer and was subsequently arrested, according to the sheriff’s sergeant. Spann, Kehler and Cash were all booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail for possession of controlled substances with the intent to sell.

A warrant is being sought for the arrest of the fourth suspect for his role in the drug sale, Fish said.

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