Sheriff revamps report of drug bust

January 10, 2014
Ian Parkinson

Ian Parkinson

By CCN STAFF

Details of a December drug raid provided by the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department have undergone alterations since Sheriff Ian Parkinson complained in a letter to radio station KVEC about CalCoastNews’ reporting of the incident.

Parkinson’s letter to station general manager Ron Roy said he thought his deputies had received “unfair criticism” as a result of CalCoastNews’ coverage.

On Dec. 4, multiple agencies led by the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department served search warrants at 13 locations, which led to the arrests of 15 people. The department released information alleging that Adrian De Martino Morales, 24, and Aldo De Martino Morales, 22, were part owners of the Cinco de Mayo restaurant in San Luis Obispo.

That resulted in a major drop in business, said the son of the owner and the restaurant manager Carlos Jimenez.

Jimenez disagrees with the assertion that the Morales are part owners of the business. He said several of those arrested worked part time at his restaurant and are related to his girlfriend, but they are not owners, and are not listed on any of the restaurant’s documents, as sheriff’s reports alleged.

In a series of emails exchanged following Parkinson’s letter, details of the raid of the restaurant and Carlos Jimenez’s home have repeatedly changed.

According to warrant property receipts, no drugs were found in Jimenez’s home or restaurant. Outside the home, officers said they discovered 9.4 grams of marijuana and 4.7 grams of green pills which belonged to the adult son of his girlfriend, according to property receipts — signed by one investigator and witnessed by a second.

In his Dec. 30 letter to KVEC, Parkinson claims investigators found seven ounces of heroin inside the residence. The department now states no drugs were found inside the home.

On Jan. 8, sheriff’s spokesperson Tony Cippolla said in an email that the investigators had a scale at the scene and weighed the green pills, which he said tested positive for heroin. Cipolla said the investigators at the scene wrote the wrong weight by accident, and should have noted the pills weighed six ounces.

In addition, the investigators forgot to log in what they alleged was an ounce of black tar heroin, Cipolla said.

In Parkinson’s letter to KVEC, he chastised CalCoastNews for referring to the law enforcement personnel who conducted the raid as “deputies.” While the sheriff’s department coordinated the raid and led the investigations, multiple agencies assisted in the morning raids, a common practice in a large sting operation.

Parkinson also claims that no local officers were involved in the raid at the Cinco de Mayo Restaurant. Parkinson wrote that the search warrant was served by a team from “Homeland Security Investigations/Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”

The warrant was requested by San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Detective Nick Fontecchio, according to the warrant.

Several local attorneys said the search was based on a state warrant and was required to be served by “sheriff, police officer, or peace officer in San Luis Obispo, Monterey or Riverside counties.” Those attorneys agree, based on Parkinson’s letter, that the warrant was not legally served.

Cipolla fired back on Jan. 8, asserting that a district attorney’s investigator served the warrant on the restaurant, and as such it was properly served.

In the past, sheriff’s officials have threatened reporters or tried to derail CalCoastNews reporting when it questions their actions.

Parkinson, a former San Luis Obispo police officer, announced his candidacy for the sheriff’s post in March 2009 with a press release prepared by the late Rob Bryn, at the time employed as spokesman for the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department.

Bryn defended his actions and said he sent the e-mail announcement regarding Parkinson’s intentions late at night from his home computer.

“I’m not going to be [Parkinson’s] press secretary nor am I going to be his campaign manager. What I do off duty is my own business, and it’s nobody’s business who I do or do not support in a political situation,” Bryn said, adding, “You need to report this appropriately, because I know how you write. If you want to get into this, I’ll be happy to get into it with you. And we can become the biggest enemies in the United States. I’ll be happy to do that.”

Immediately after that, CalCoastNews ceased receiving press notices or return phone calls from the sheriff’s department, a virtual blackout that lasted several years.

In October 2010, during Parkinson’s first year in office, a CalCoastNews article reported specific details of events leading up to and including the kidnapping and murder of 15-year-old Dystiny Myers.

The following day, Bryn issued a press release for the sheriff’s department, refuting every element of the CalCoastNews article. The Tribune and KSBY echoed Bryn’s version, and a local judge placed a gag order on all those connected with the trial.

Six months later, when the suspects first appeared in court for preliminary hearings, testimony from a variety of witnesses — including sheriff’s investigators — confirmed every single detail of the CalCoastNews article.

KVEC radio talk show host Dave Congalton said on the air that “in 35-plus years of journalism and broadcasting, I’ve never seen anything like this.”

 


82 Comments

  1. Citizen says:

    To the Sheriff’s Department:

    Don’t be so thin skinned. Just do the best job you can. If and when mistakes are made, then let the chips fall where they may.

    Parkinson is still the best and hardest working sheriff we’ve had in a long time.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 29

    • kayaknut says:

      but when the previous sheriff was so lacking, being better than him isn’t saying much

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 33 Thumb down 3

    • Pete says:

      The best sheriff we’ve had? Maybe, but saying that is like saying someone is nicer than Stalin.Everyone is nicer that Stalin. Not much of a compliment.

      To bad we didn’t elect Cortez, a real man.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 31 Thumb down 4

      • MarkJames says:

        ‘To bad we didn’t elect Cortez, a real man.”

        and an educated one too. Parkinson actually requires a staff to manage his ass but he still goes off on his own and gets himself into trouble. Many don’t know this but the guy is a pathological liar, has been for a long time. He isn’t overly intelligent either which is why he gets caught as often as he does, without his ass managers it would be far worse than we know.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 32 Thumb down 4

      • MaryMalone says:

        I would have used “Satan” instead of “Stalin,” but I agree with your post on THAT.

        I don’t agree with your misogynist statement “To bad we didn’t elect Cortez, a real man.”

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. PaulJones says:

    Karen, Please post a copy of the property receipt that lists the pills on it. I’ve been informed that approximately 100 pills were found outside the residence. 100 pills would have to be huge pills as in unusually large ‘homemade’ pills to weigh 6 ounces. Does the report say that the pills appear homemade or that they’re very large rather than pharmaceutical?

    I ask because I just weighed the largest horse pill that I know of. It is penicillin tablets and they’re not only very heavy but the largest pills I’ve ever seen. They weigh 0.6 grams. Now if you consider that there are 28 gr in an oz, and there were 6 oz of pills then that would be a total of 168 grams. That would mean each pill weighed 1.68 grams. That would be exceedingly large.

    Bottom line, I think Parkinson is twisting the facts to match his NEW story, now that he told Roy that 7 ounces of heroin were found despite that it doesn’t show up in the reports as heroin. You do know that there is a preliminary test they can do on the spot to determine if those pills were illegal drugs, but they didn’t report that at the time. As for the black tar heroin, funny that they didn’t report it or even log it. The attorney’s are going to have a hey day.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 4

    • MaryMalone says:

      QUOTING PAUL JONES: “That would mean each pill weighed 1.68 grams. That would be exceedingly large. </i"

      ———-

      Good lord. I don't think one's stomach could handle too many of those pills.

      Also, what happened to the pills previously found that smelled like heroin? Are those the same pills as the pills in this story?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. r0y says:

    No wonder they hate you! CCN is like that terrible person who dares turn the lightswitch on when the roaches are having at it. For shame!

    Nice to know where KVEC middle-management-flunkies stand on this.

    Note to Ron Roy: I see you’re just trying to go with the flow… but you know what? Only dead fish and turds simply go with the flow…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 35 Thumb down 4

    • mbactivist1 says:

      “Roaches” is a good term for these characters. The good news is that, if you shine a bright enough light, the roaches will run for cover. Keep up the good work, CCN

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 5

  4. choprzrul says:

    We would be having none of these stories/situations had SLO voters chosen integrity ( Cortez ) over pretty boy Parkinson.

    Now to see if SLO county voters are smart enough to make it a one term gig for Ian.

    .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 3

  5. Pelican1 says:

    Why do so many of our public officials (who’s salaries and benefits we pay) consider themselves protected by some sort of imaginary Teflon coating that prevents any inquiries, complaints, charges, accusations, and investigations stick?
    These people are OUR employees. As such, they should not be exempt from ANY questions regarding the job they are doing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 1

    • SLOBIRD says:

      Because they watch Papa Obama do what he wants, when he wants and their is no accountability for the big guys actions. Obama and Holder make the rules on the go, seeing what works and what’s popular. Forget what is right, that is just not our society anymore. Just go read the current Rolling Stone magazine and you will understand the new generation and its logic and thinking.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 11

      • zaphod says:

        *read one magazine article understand everything* so simple! thanks.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 13

        • OnTheOtherHand says:

          Using a single magazine article may not prove his point of view but perhaps he is just using it as a good summary of what he has come to believe from many other sources. I haven’t read the Rolling Stone article but I don’t think he is far off the money based upon what I have observed. My only quarrel with him would be that I expect that he thinks the Republicans have a better alternative.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

          • r0y says:

            Republicans would not have much better alternatives; however, they would not get so many (MANY) free passes from the press and ignorant Hollywood types. At least we’d have THAT… in addition to crappy government.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

        • Laughlines says:

          There is no debate amongst people who are paying attention that at all levels, with BOTH parties, we have unethical and dishonorable leaders who routinely lie, cheat, steal (Congress and insider trading, etc.) and twist and break the law as much as possible. There also should be little debate about the debased state of the American public’s general knowledge. Again, not limited to one side or the other. We have a lot of dumb-asses who get to vote these days. I am not registered with either side; I classify myself as an independent conservative, although on some issues I really can’t be pigeonholed in the conventional sense. We ALL have been tolerating it for too long, and selecting our outrage based on our partisan preferences. George W. Bush did some good and many things I disagree with. I think that the creation of DHS will haunt us for the rest of our existence as a nation. Barack Obama rode a wave of hype into office, with very little practical experience and has proven to all thinking people that he never was up to the job; lefties who still proclaim that the sun shines out his ass are not helping to elevate the discourse. What we see at the local level is what we’ve purchased at all levels. We all got complacent and now we see the results. We are very much like Rome in its final period, and that saddens me.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

      • bobfromsanluis says:

        {{{{shakes head}}}} Did you really have to go there? And like zaphod stated, reading ONE magazine article gives you an understanding of whole generation? I think that is the epitome of generalization; you do come off as having made a rather idiotic assertion.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 8

      • MaryMalone says:

        I am a life-long Democrat and I voted for Obama in 2008. However, starting three weeks after he assumed office, when he broke one of his biggest promises (sending in 32,000 additional troops to Afghanistan when he promised to promptly, once assuming office, start decreasing the number of troops in Afghanistan), I have become a very vocal critic of Obama and his administration.

        However, that being said, I don’t think you can blame any other politician’s corruption and asshattery on Obama…or on any other politician, and especially use it as a base upon which you build your criticism of other politicians.

        I think, at best, one can logically say that, in general, it seems there are a lot of corrupt politicians in our country.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  6. Cindy says:

    Humm, They were looking for serious drugs that were being run by a cartel out of this restaurant. Suddenly, NOW ; they say that they found an ounce of black tar heroin but they forgot to log it! WHAT ????? They didn’t log the drugs?

    Now lets see, outside the home, in a backpack that contained another persons belongings they found less than 1/2 oz of marijuana which is a misdemeanor and they also found some green pills (anyone ever heard of green pill heroin?) all of which they confirmed belonged to the adult brother of the restaurant owners girlfriend.

    Yup, Jiminez was involved in a BIG DRUG CARTEL…….. I think after the way the SLOSD dragged Mr Jimenez through the mud, destroyed his business and abused him and his family, they the SLOSD and the Sheriff are the ones who need to apologize.

    BUT the worst may be yet to come, doesn’t sound like the warrant was legally served either. Parkinson sure knows how to stick his foot in his own mouth. So Ian, what happened to the black tar heroin that everybody forgot about? This is so pathetic.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 38 Thumb down 4

    • r0y says:

      Once again, the voters of SLO County FAIL. Never pass up an opportunity to put the least qualified in the highest positions. That’s our motto.

      I’m wondering if looking the other way is so commonplace that there is no other place to look anymore without seeing the rot and stench.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 2

  7. Pelican1 says:

    Very interesting…You will do as we say, or we have ways of making you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 4

  8. LameCommenter says:

    This is very disappointing. One hopes for INTEGRITY and EXCELLENCE in their governmental officials. WHY does this gem of a county have to put up with significant hints of malfeasance or pettiness at the top? Parkinson has a tough job and it is upsetting to see him jack-boot-silence a legitimate and frequently correct news source. Run a tight effective ship, Sir, and let the challenges bounce off a shining good reputation and spotless record of excellence!

    Sheriff Parkinson should be very FAR above such unseemly things. Leave the mud work and tarnishing of our government to certain supervisors and their sometimes madcap, adulterous ways.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 31 Thumb down 4

    • mbactivist1 says:

      The problem is that there is corruption everywhere in the County, and these characters all look out for and protect each other.

      I love this part of your comment: “Run a tight effective ship, Sir, and let the challenges bounce off a shining good reputation and spotless record of excellence!” Amen to that.

      If this character felt he was doing a good job and his office just made an isolated mistake, why would he be so touchy? My guess is that he’s afraid of what else CCN is going to find.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 2

  9. BeenThereDoneThat says:

    Well isn’t that what you are suppose to do in a police state, silent descent? Well played Parkinson, well played.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 31 Thumb down 6

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