Cop’s first shift ends in large drug bust

SANTA CRUZ — A Santa Cruz man was arrested Wednesday after detectives searching his vehicle found illegal drugs, cash and drug paraphernalia.

Hugo Casteneda, 46, was charged with possession of drugs for sale, driving on a suspended license and a probation violation. He was booked into Santa Cruz County Jail in lieu of $3,500 bail.

The bust occurred during officer Richard Boolootian’s first solo patrol shift, Santa Cruz Police spokeswoman Joyce Blaschke said.

According to Blaschke, Boolootian conducted a traffic stop on the 100 block of Grant Street Wednesday night.

During the stop, Boolootian learned that Casteneda had outstanding felony warrants and was on probation.

With the help of a drug-sniffing dog, officers found one bag containing 2.14 ounces of methamphetamine, and a second bag that had 21.2 grams. He also had Xanax pills and assorted drug paraphernalia in his pockets, Blaschke said.

More than $2,300 in cash and drug packaging materials were also recovered.


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