SOQUEL — UC Santa Cruz Police on Tuesday arrested three people on drug charges during an early-morning operation in Soquel involving six other law enforcement agencies.
Matthew Wilcox Hutchings, 24, a former UCSC student now living in Soquel, was charged with possession of sale of narcotics. He also faces charges for possession of equipment used to make butane honey oil, UCSC Police Chief Nader Oweis said.
Hutchings was in possession of LSD, ketamine and MDMA, a drug also known as ecstasy. Police also found about 20 pounds of psychedelic mushrooms, Oweis said.
Hutchings pleaded not guilty to numerous charges Thursday morning. He is in custody at Santa Cruz County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail, jail records showed.
Calvin Arturo Cortez, 26, also of Soquel, was charged with possession of narcotics for sale. He also faces charges for failing to appear for a court date in a separate case. He has not yet been to court, and is being held without bail, jail records showed.
Cody Jay Blair, 25, was expected to be cited and released for misdemeanor charges for possession of LSD and MDMA.
According to Oweis, UCSC police officers working with Santa Cruz Police Department, San Benito County Sheriff’s Office, the Santa Cruz County Anti-Crime Team, the Santa Clara County Special Enforcement Team and the Santa Clara Police Department served felony search warrants at a residence on the 2500 block of Chardonnay Drive in Soquel at about 5 a.m.
The action included at least one armored vehicle, as the suspects were believed to be armed, Oweis said.
“We wanted to make sure everyone was safe,” he said.