Sheriff revamps report of drug bust

January 10, 2014
Ian Parkinson

Ian Parkinson


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.”


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KVEC, since when are questions a threat? CCN offers the tough questions and forces our public officials to a higher standard because of it. Do you think any of the ‘official reports’ would have been changed and/or clarified if not for a light being shined on shoddy police work and shoddy reporting / collecting of evidence?

Mistakes are made daily and we should never allow our sheriff’s department to think they are above the law nor above admitting to mistakes and changing their behavior so they can be more trustworthy.

All this has done is make KVEC appear to be the lapdog to the Sheriff that the Tribune and KSBY already are. Bummer.

And I bet Mr. Roy looks quite fetching, fresh from the groomer with a little poodle-bow in his hair, sitting on Parkinson’s lap.

Well, it appears that Parkinson et al.jeopardized their own case by attempting to discredit Karen Velie’s reporting and “finding” more drug evidence.

The idea of “finding” black tar heroin (days after the bust) that was not logged along with the other drugs found at the time pretty much says “set up” by the Sheriff’s Department.

The sad fact is that the drugs don’t matter as to the charges of money laundering which will be determined by the books/accounting/money/investors/testimony, but the “new drug discovery” will discredit the Sheriff’s Department.

I’ll bet the feds are livid.

The defense attorneys are going to have a field day with this clown and his circus.

So the Sheriff has the power to shut down a news organization that reports negatively about his department. Amazing world we live in.

Not exactly shut them down (removed one reporter) but certainly shows that he has KVEC in hand when it comes to controversy. Shame.

1st. The best Sheriff we have ever had to date has been Sheriff John Hastie in my opinion.

and the best deputy in this county will always be Sergio Baro. Done deal.

And I am a slo county native over 50 years here, not a transplant with my big city opinions. Mr. Parkinson has blown himself and his Deputies out of the water on this one. With letters and email back ups from the Sheriff and his PR Guy Tony (maybe this wasnt my calling / should stuck with new caster) they couldn’t back pedal fast enough. AHHH hence the scuttle on Karen and her family. It’s sad to say, I dont think it will get any better, just worse.

With the militarization of our police force and rogue officers, the good ones have their work cut out for them. I wish them the best for them and hope they dont lose their heart in the process. So many have already.

We live in the world of OK FOR ME / NOT FOR YOU environment. We have to get sick of it sometime. I think when it’s time for voting and such, more transparency. When that truly happens, we can get back to being civilized. It has been so long.

We live in the world of OK FOR ME / NOT FOR YOU environment.

That is progressive leftism. Like what I say or be destroyed. It’s our way or the highway. We’re open-minded provided it’s our way of thinking.

Saul Alinsky would be proud how the ends justify the means everywhere you look today.

All this brings to mind – Detective Mark Furhman from the OJ trial. If you didn’t have really enough evidence to effectuate a lawful arrest prior to the arrest then manufacture some. If you failed to document everything in a report, then apparently some management oversight is lacking at the SD. Oh that is right, this is the same department that houses and controls the drug evidence locker for the county that requires a supervisor to open and close it when undercover officers deposit evidence – hmmm how did officer Corey Pierce procure the drugs from the evidence locker all by himself, since he didn’t have a key? Now that is a question that needs to be looked into. Who let him in the evidence locker? Who failed to adequately protect evidence from a bad apple? Who failed to do their job? Why hasn’t there been any accountability on this screw up at the top?

I’m surprised that you think that Mark Furhman planted the glove. The reason the glove didn’t fit (and the Prosecution should have known this) was because glove leather shrinks when wet, and this one had been soaked in blood. Although the Defense hinted at evidence being planted, they did not pursue it because it would have taken a miracle for Furhman to be able to go out and buy a glove or find one of OJ’s gloves, contaminate it with blood evidence from the two victims and OJ, and a blond hair of the Nicole type, all by his lonesome.

The Defense, however, knew the shrunken glove wouldn’t fit ahead of time. They had possession during the lunch hour and could compare it to a non shrucken xlarge glove of the same brand.

This, of course, was the crowning moment for the Defense. Furhman was discredited by his own statement that he had never used the n word.

I agree that they didn’t plant the glove and that the glove was shrunk from being wet with blood. BUT……the blood evidence that was found on the fence weeks later and the supposed blood that was found on a sock of OJ’s months later that was proved to be ‘applied blood’ as in placed there rather than cast off blood led me to believe that they ‘framed’ the right guy.

did not help that Judge Ito’s wife was F’s watch commander. racist within LA PD is not out side reasonable speculation .

In addition, when OJ attempted to put the gloves on, his fingers were splayed open.

Out of ALL the things supposedly found in the raid, black tar heroin would be the the first of the drugs listed (because it has such a deservedly heinous rep, and would carry the most PR impact) and the absolutely last one to be “forgotten” to be listed on raid seizures.

I call bullshIt on Parkinson.

Everyone should know by now that just about any cop will lie to suit themselves. I am not saying all, but many will. Parkinson although one hell of a lot better than the last fool (Hedges) hasn’t been honest with us all the time. I think it kind of goes with the job. I remember three days before he took office, the medical marijuana delivery service raids took place that he claimed he knew nothing about. I still find that very hard to believe considering he used to date Amy (Dobson) Chastain who once again lied to a doctor about her back pain to get a 215 card that started that whole fiasco. A 50 person operation three days before he took office and he claimed he knew nothing? Sorry, but that was a difficult pill to swallow along with Cory(steal your heroin) Pierce investigating. The Narc squad tends to walk to a different tune than the rest of the officers.

Replace “cop” with “person” and you’re still correct.

Some very interesting comments here. Make a difference, let KVEC know directly what you think of this rip off of Dave’s show.

Ron Roy

Regional Vice President

There used to be something called the Fairness Doctrine which governed media content. It was tossed out the window as part of the now-discredited fad of deregulation. From my perspective, it spawned the rabid partisanship that we now see in full expression in our totally inept Congress. It’s why people who like to listen to radio, self included, find themselves turing the dial or turning off the radio (especially in our limited local market) when the crazy talkshow hosts air. It’s why we find ourselves tuning into programs that affirm out world views, rather than challenge them.

If the Fairness Doctrine still existed today, KVEC (and on Congalton’s show) would be required to give Parkinson equal time to present his objections to CCN’s reportage on the drug raid. Under the Fairness Doctrine, if an opinion was expressed on the air, equal time had to be given to an opposing side.

To me, it would have been much simpler and more respectful of all parties had Congalton (out of a sense of fairness) contacted Parkinson to schedule time for the Sheriff to respond in a timely manner. Velie gets her hour, Parkinson gets his hour. The listeners get to make up their own minds. Everyone benefits.

Instead, we have this paranoia of threatening letters, management over-reaction and censorship of Dave’s guest choices. Everyone loses.

Hodin you say “Under the Fairness Doctrine, if an opinion was expressed on the air, equal time had to be given to an opposing side.” I believe this misstates the Fairness Doctrine, and how it used to work. THIS THREAD is supposed to be about the Sheriff and perhaps unbooked heroin (geez, does anybody realize how BIG a deviation that is?), but as to the Fairness Doctrine, equal time was ONLY minute for minute as to EDITORIALIZING so it would NOT successfully address the current heavy partisanship of Fox compared with CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, NPR.

I can sympathize with your desire for equal time, but in our local case it’s Fox/Con people waving the flag for freedom and small government, versus a bunch of media outlets dripping with progressive Socialism and command/control economy. I like what you closed with: Velie gets her hour, Parkinson gets his hour.”

The way to get equal exposure is available to Sheriff Parkinson RIGHT NOW as of Monday: trot on down to the KVEC studios and defend his OFFICERS! PUT OUT THERE his LE side and clear the air, if clearable.

Parkinson can’t stand up to the CCN reporting. They make a liar and a fool out of him every time. Ian could have gone on Dave’s Show with his side of the story but he decided to write a fairy tale behind the scene’s to the general manager. Ian doesn’t have the guts to go live and take on CCN in front of an audience.

I think we should write to Eldorado Broadcasting about their GM at KVEC and let them know how the public feels about this latest hoodwinking.

I agree, except that I think Parkinson makes a liar and a fool of himself, and CCN then points out the obvious :)

Agreed. Parkinson is a weiner.

Russ: I have to wonder if you truly do listen to Dave’s show; Dave has repeatedly offered to interview people who have been the subject of stories on CCN, to offer them the ability to come on his show and offer their view of the situation- but, he also warns anyone who wants to do that that they will have to field calls from listeners as well. Most of the people and representatives of agencies that have been reported on on CCN do not want to respond to the articles at all, they would usually prefer that the stories just “go away”; coming onto Dave’s show to respond gives additional credence to CCN’s reporting unless the subject person can completely disprove the thrust of the articles. Hasn’t really happened yet; there have been a couple of articles that had a few facts off, but for the most part, no one story has been proved to be so wrong that CCN printed a retraction.

If Sheriff Parkinson truly wants to go on Dave’s show and refute the reporting, Dave will most certainly have him on, I’m positive of that. The Sheriff needs to be prepared for callers to question him though; if he honestly believes that he is in the right and CCN is truly that misleading, I hope the Sheriff does come onto Dave’s show. Makes me remember when Kelly Gearhart came on to refute what Karen had been reporting about him; that didn’t end too well …

I am quite certain that Sheriff Parkinson or his spokesperson is welcome on Congalton’s show to rebut any allegations they chose. This is clearly a “free speech” issue and the Sheriff’s actions are nothing short of gestapo tactics. Shame on you KVEC for falling prey to these demands.


Ian Parkinson was upset because Karen told on his boy’s and so he sent a letter to the GM of KVEC making all sorts of claims that he can’t back up, in fact he looks like he is intentionally lying. Now as it turns out, Ian has made a fool of his gang; all on his own and would have done better to shut up as the totality of his departments incompetence surrounding the events of that raid are worse than we knew. He say’s the evidence was never booked, black tar heroin never booked, not reported anywhere as taken into evidence or removed from the property. Good luck with that one keystone.

Imagine that, no black tar evidence booked and green pills that they claim are heroin that didn’t belong to the man they fingered, neither were the pills in his home or restaurant. By the way, just asking, have any of you LEO arrested anyone out there with green pill heroin? No didn’t think so.

Ian Parkinson, bottom line is that Karen was right, you have nothing on this business owner, nadda and you’re going down in a law suit and taking us taxpayers with you.

As for you Ron Roy, shame on you. SHAME ON YOU – YOU COWARD.