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.”


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

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


Police-speak for “planted evidence.”

QUOTING ARTICLE: “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…”

Here is a long list of “green pill” medications (which is for just one shade of green, and there are three shades offered), and the list goes on for pages and pages….for one shade of green.

And Homeland Security was involved in this? What a fracking waste of our tax dollars.

I don’t think our county’s taxpayers can afford to have two raging nincompoops in positions of authority.

We already have to deal with Adam Hill. Please, we have to drop-kick Parkinson out of his feifdom before he overwhelms us all with his own version of nincompoopery.

Sorry…the link to the site where one can try to identify medications by pill shape, size, color, etc., is:

I could not be any more disappointed by Dave Congaltan and KVEC. I’ve trusted them for more than a decade and listen almost every day during my commute. Now, apparently KVEC is just a branch of the SLO County SHeriff and assisting with a cover-up of a corrupt and terribly mismanaged Sheriff’s office.

Clearly, The hard-fast truth is that despite the 50+ posts on this story, and the more than 115 posts on the other story about Congalton and Vellie — the single letter from the Sheriff on his letterhead trumps ALL of you in the eyes of the station manager.

Parkinson hasn’t provided the open administration he promised. What ever happened to the two deputies who took that homeless guy from Cambria to Gorda and dropped him off in the middle of the night? The guy who then got drunk, naked and held up the gas station and the two deputies had to go back and arrest him?

Parkinson said they were being investigated and would be disciplined if found to have done something wrong. Were they?

Then there was the deputy in Los Osos who beat up his wife for having an affair with some other guy and was arrested for domestiuc violence? What happened to his case? His career? Probably got a promotion.

So does the Sheriff now owe the station manager a quid pro quo?

Why just Karen banned? Blackburn is just as controversial. OK, so Vellie won’t be on the radio. Big deal. It’s KVEC’s loss. The show just got about 30% less interesting and relevant. Maybe as a protest Dave should do Pet of the Day instead of week.

She should get one of those devices that disguises your voice and just call in during the open line segment. That would be funny.

So Ian gets a little pissy because he thinks his Cowboys has been disrespected. But weeks after the raid the Cowboys went on to find heroin, the only heroin they find they “forgot” to put into evidence! What, is Cory Pierce back on the job? If this wasn’t so corrupt it would be funny. How do you forget to put something into evidence when that substance is the very reason you went to the restaurant to find in the first place?. This isn’t going to fly Ian, and it’s a pretty lame cover up. You afraid of big bad Karen? Looks that way.You might be working security at the fair again pretty darn soon.

They kept it out of evidence so they could slip it into the Lompoc Pen to keep Cory fixed up.

Does anyone have a sponsor list for KVEC? I want to know where NOT to spend my money.

That is not a good solution. In fact, that will likely exacerbate what we’re beginning to see. Do not take it out on the station, take it out on the Sheriff (first) and Mr. Roy (second). Do not focus on the media bending to the fascism of a supposedly trusted public official; rather, focus on the fact that the PEOPLE’S representative in LAW ENFORCEMENT has neither enforced the law (freedom of the press, freedom of speech) nor represented the people (covering one’s own butt is not representative of others).

I learned early in in my political activist “career” that nothing sways businesses by boycotting by pocketbook.

If enough people do it, it works.

Writing polite letters to advertisers simply stating your opinion (whether or not you are “voting with your pocketbook” on the issue) is also effective.

Sorry, misstatement.

The first paragraph should read “….nothing sways businesses like boycotting by pocketbook.”

One of the most effective political activism tools there is, actually.

But when Adam Hill did that, you got all worked up, didn’t you?

I am advocating contacting advertisers using my own resources, on my own time, advising them of my concerns about Mr. Roy’s decision to silence an investigative reporter to appease someone who has more power than the Parkinson and then Mr. Roy, both of whom have way more power in the county than does Karen Velie.

I would also indicate that I could not support any advertiser who supported a broadcast show that drop-kicked a reporter or journalist.

It was Mr. Parkinson’s job to rebut Ms. Velie’s articles on KVEC, something he failed to do.

I would include the articles which document the problems with Parkinson’s disaster of a raid, including the articles about the changes Parkinson has had to subsequently issue to deal with the false statements he and his representatives initially made…and that the changes reflected the information published by Ms. Velie in CCN.

Adam Hill abused his position as county supervisor to, going so far as to use his county supervisor’s office and computer. Using his county supervisor resources, he went on a personal campaign in retribution for truthful information published by CCN regarding Hill’s illicit lover, a relationship that broke up his marriage. His lover is head of homeless services for CAPSLO, an organization which CCN has documented as many severe problems.

Adam Hill also continues to engage in shocking conflicts of interests by voting on funding for CAPSLO’s homeless services, something that benefits both his (now) fiance, live-in lover and, by extension of his relationship with her, himself.

I can go on and on, but I think you get the picture. Both Parkinson and Hill took advantage of a power differential between themselves and Ms. Velie to seek revenge for unflattering information published in CCN. They used county resources to do it. They both will benefit from it, if it is successful.

Get it now?

Adam Hill abused his position as county supervisor

BOYCOTT, that is what is most effective and if you touch the purse, the message is received. I sent my letter and I listened to KPRL in Paso this morning and loved their morning program and open line. I will be listening at noon to their local programing. The hell with KVEC and the lack of freedom of the press.

It is their station, I feel strongly they can do what they want even if it is wrong IMO. I also feel strongly that it is my choice what I can do so, BOYCOTT it is! I am spreading the word to everyone I know, about 20 people at our football party yesterday. I then, boycott Parkinson for Sheriff!

Perfectly stated.

SLOBIRD, you and I are in a Vulcan mind-meld on this one.

Yes, Mary, nothing brings more attention and resolution to a situation with the money. Just ask A & E regarding the Duck Dynasty and the $40 million annual sales of merchandise involved. Bet GLADD (Gay organization) wished they never opened that door. It’s all about the money!

I can’t believe I’m doing this.

I am a great fan of cal coast news and Karen. Great stuff on here. I did not vote for Ian he just wasn’t my choice. I have never commented on anything before, just love to read and think. Now I need to say my peace. Please know that I read all your comments and have a very open mind

My son was five minutes away from dying of a black tar heroin overdose a few months ago. Please, no judging here. I don’t want to say to much for obvious reasons, but for those of you who don’t want to believe that slo doesn’t have a HUGE drug problem and that the cartel isn’t involved you’ve got your head in the sand. Guess where he got the heroin? . When I told him about the drug bust and then I told him a few days later that a couple of slo co businesses were involved the first thing out of his mouth was “let me guess cinco de mayo?”

I just want you all to know, you’ve got it wrong on this one. We have a huge problem in this town. The drug cartel is here. Don’t be fooled just because you don’t like our law enforcement. And if Karen wants to contact me she can. Pray for our kids. This is a war.

You are so right, pismo. I only wish I could say more. Like I said, for obvious reasons I can’t. Yes, I remember the taco temple ordeal. I am not a moron, my son is not who or what you think. You know nothing about us and our personal lives, as I know nothing about yours. I don’t want anyone’s life or livelihood ruined. I am so glad that some kind of action is being taken to try to combat the drug problem.

And if I recall correctly, the first story that broke on taco temple stated that it was an employee, not the owners.

The problem with the Cinco de Mayo raid is that apparently, there was one or possibly two employees that may have (may have) been dealing drugs, just like what happened at the Taco Temple. I don’t think anyone believes that there isn’t a drug problem in our county and I’ve heard that heroin use is on the rise for some reason. Heroin is a concern to everyone as we all know that it’s addictive and we know what happens to addicts. I’m sorry to hear that your son tried heroin, sounds like it was quite a scare coupled with the overdose. It sounds like he is doing well now and I’ll keep him in my prayers.

My concern surrounding this incident is that Mr Jimenez was falsely accused and his business was seriously damaged. I don’t know all the details but I do know that Mr Jimenez has worked as a waiter for years to buy his own restaurant and he still works as a waiter not only at his restaurant but outside of his own restaurant to make ends meet while has been building up his business. He is a nice man, honest and hard working, he didn’t and doesn’t deserve what has happened to him. He is not a drug dealer or part of a cartel. He also doesn’t have any partners who are involved in drugs as Parkinson claimed.

A drug dealer doesn’t work daily at other local restaurants as a waiter. Come on, if he were looking to launder some drug money, he could do it through his own business without having to go work for someone else.

Drugs are on the rise because the economy is crap, and not amount of lies about it changes the reality most people face: especially young men, minorities, too.

That has always been the case. Now we see that elections and policies have consequences and we’re going to have to live with what we decided on. Sorry it is so harsh, but you want to know why drugs are on the rise…

I can’t image what you and your son have gone through. Kudos to you for being able to put one step in front of the other…I think I would be hard-pressed to even do that if my child was addicted to tar heroin.

However, no one benefits–especially drug enforcement supporters–if an over-zealous and rights-trampling, lying law-enforcement agency concocts evidence to fit what the LE wants to find to justify their freedom-threatening tactics.

Well, Adam Hill lives another day. Ian Parkinson, if smart, would have left this pass and move on. But know, we all know that the County politicians are out for CCN, specifically, Karen, and Ian just played his role. Let’s see how well he is rewarded in the budget process. He was a kiss ass with the City of SLO Police (that’s how he made captain) and now he kisses for Hill! Nice job Parkinson.

* Multi dates: Adam Hill threatens KVEC’s Dave Congalton and his sponsors

* Jul 18, 2913 Karen Velie’s grandchildren seized by Social Services

* Aug 13, 2013 Karen Velie arrested for DUI by SLO Police

* Dec 7, 2013 KVEC receives a letter from Sheriff’s Dept condemning the reporting of Karen Velie and CCN and requests action


All of you who still think there is no conspiracy against Ms. Velie need to read the definition of conspiracy again. To all politicians in this County: I will not vote for any incumbent under any circumstance because you are either a part of this conspiracy or you have no backbone for truth and support your counter cesspool leeches. I will support and rally for all new candidates! I will no longer listen to KVEC or any sponsors. This County is so corrupt with the likes of Hill, Gibson. Parkinson, Steinbug, Maxx and Paavo.

I totally love this post. Full of information, solid opinion, AND it is short, sweet, and to the point.

Sorry, must correct the above statement. We get the weekend editions of the paper -only for the ads that come with it.

You don’t have to take the weekend edition. Just go into any coffee house after about 11:00 am and you will find them all over the place.

We no longer get the Tribune.

If you are upset about the coverage of Parkinson in the Tribune, what about the sanitized report of San Luis Obispo County having the third worst conditions of small counties in the U>S> for the homeless?

CCN is right on track with their reporting. I admire their reporting to take on the good ole boys in this county.

With the change in Parkinson’s story, will he plead like Christie? Change his story again? “I didn’t know anything about any of the mistakes made in this case”. Wanna bet?

I wonder if Parkinson will try to weiner out on his culpability by blaming Karen Velie for his own mistakes?