A.J. Santana found not guilty of perjury

April 9, 2016

justice 2After less than one hour of of deliberations, a jury found former San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office Investigator A.J. Santana not guilty of perjury. Santana was on trial for allegedly lying to a judge to obtain a search warrant.

In Aug. 2014, Santana provided misinformation to a judge in an affidavit while on loan to the Sheriff’s Narcotics Task Force. Deputies reported the incident, and Santana was charged with a felony county of perjury while the charges against the suspect were dropped.

Attorneys with the California Department of Justice prosecuted the case because of Santana’s connection to the district attorney’s office. Santana faced a maximum of three years in jail if found guilty.

Early in the three week trial, a county sheriff’s deputy testified Santana was stubborn, inexperienced and untruthful while working with the Narcotics Task Force. A county prosecutor testified Santana’s affidavit contained clear discrepancies, and he did not think Santana was giving the judge the full picture.

Santana said he was not trying to make false statements or cover up inadequacies in the investigation, and blamed his errors on inexperience.

Deputy Attorney General Seth McCutcheon argued Santana was more experienced than he claimed. McCutcheon read aloud part of the affidavit that listed Santana’s professional qualifications, which included narcotics investigation training.

In Feb. 2015, Santana left the employment of the district attorney’s office. Because of privacy concerns, Santana’s former employer did not disclose whether Santana resigned or was terminated.



  1. NewsResponse says:

    Detective AJ Santana was ON LOAN to Sheriff Ian Parkinson. Two judges determined there “was a lot wrong” with the affidavit to obtain search warrants, and the SLO County DA’s office dropped multiple cases because they saw the same thing as the judges. ( There is at least one other incident involving Santana in another matter sent to proper authorities.)

    San Luis Obispo sheriff department shares many similar characteristics as found in this CalCoastNews article:.http://calcoastnews.com/2016/04/former-undersheriff-convicted-of-obstruction-of-justice/ There has been a lot of violence, corruption, civil rights violations, excessive use of force, within the SLO County Sheriff department, NTF, SWAT for years, from the days of Sheriff Hedge’s and continuing now through the time Ian Parkinson has been Sheriff.

    In fact Sheriff Ian Parkinson was part of Hedge’s NTF and SWAT, and helped to develop and train the officers involved in these groups – groups in which “Mayor Yates said. “I have no respect for the old Narcotics Task Force for the trauma that they brought to our county residents and their children.”

    Further evidence of the violent culture within: https://plus.google.com/110149834187224289194/posts/cv43uKLMFtG

    Regarding SLO Sheriff Ian Parkinson’s NTF, SWAT and sheriff department: Please list any other incidences and evidence of violence, conspiracy (to cover up, set up, REVAMP reports), civil or constitutional rights violations, excessive use of force, etc., with names of deputies, officers, detectives involved. The more facts and detailed the better.

    This will be placed in the hands of DOJ, FBI, etc., to further investigate.

    (2) 8 Total Votes - 5 up - 3 down
  2. Downtown Bob says:

    No, the State Attorney arrested for contempt was on a workmans comp claim from CMC. Dow did the only thing any ethical leader should do….referee the case to in independent body with the relevant information. Dow is an elected official and many of his employees serve “at will”and can be terminated.

    (1) 7 Total Votes - 4 up - 3 down
  3. Painter_of_Light says:

    I’ve gone back and read all the CCN reports, ksby reports, TT reports, posts and replys from when this story first broke. It makes me sad to see how everyone jumps on the bandwagon and assumes this dude is guilty. The last time I checked we live in America, where everyone is innocent until and unless proven guilty. This is a fundamental right that we all enjoy. There is a process. The process is that a jury of 12 people are chosen, the Attorney General brings and presents every piece of evidence, witness testimony, that helps them try to win their case. Santana’s attorney presents every piece of evidence and witness testimony that helps him try to win his case.

    At the end of all this, which in this case took 2 or 3 weeks to complete those 12 people;
    ( in less than an hour) UNANIMOUSLY agreed that Santana was Not Guilty. There was no mistrial or hung jury, All 12 heard all the details and made a decision. To me this sends a clear message of what the jury thought of the perjury charge, the Attorney General’s evidence and all their witnesses testimony. Not for one moment do I believe Santana got off just because his attorney said he was “inexperienced.” Santana’s evidence, his witnesses testimony and his personal testimony must have completely turned the tables on the Attorney General. The jury is not stupid. If he lied and did all the stuff that was alleged, he would have been convicted, this I am certain of.

    These are my questions: 1. How much money does a 2 or 3 week trial cost us tax payers. 2. How much money is the county going to pay out down the road when the big wig civil lawyers get a hold of this. Just my thoughts.

    (1) 13 Total Votes - 7 up - 6 down
  4. SLO_Johnny says:

    This is a big loss for the AG office. Dan Dow did the right thing when he brought in the state to investigate and prosecute. The defense attorney picked a good tactic when he argued that Santana was inexperienced after one of the prosecution witnesses testified that he lacked experience.

    CCN, I believe saying that Santana provided “misinformation” is intimating that he intentionally lied to the judge in the affidavit; that he had committed perjury. He was found not guilty by a jury. It would be better to say that he provided “inaccurate” information.

    (9) 15 Total Votes - 12 up - 3 down
    • kayaknut says:

      “provided “inaccurate” information”, Come on everyone knows he lied, it’s just a jury found him not guilty, just like O.J.. You trying to craft a statement is just like saying ” they are undocumented people” where we all know they are illegal and criminals.

      (6) 12 Total Votes - 9 up - 3 down
  5. jana says:

    Brief and subtle, like someone making a statement and then dropping the mike as they walk off the stage..

    The story behind the story is that CCN got a tip and sensing a “gotcha story” ran with it. Dan Dow, caught unaware changed the direction of the personnel investigation, which would probably have dealt with the allegations as a personnel action. Dow fearing getting crucified by CCN referred the matter to the California Attorney General for criminal investigation. Voila! Dow was given cover by citing conflict of interest and referring the matter outside his office.
    The California AG then conducts an investigation and decides to prosecute.

    Now a jury finds the officer innocent of the charge and I am sure litigation will follow, costing the taxpayers who will pay the attorneys who will represent the county.

    (-4) 28 Total Votes - 12 up - 16 down
    • Perspicacious says:

      Trust me, Dow was not afraid of being “crucified” by CCN. he did what any ethical department head would do, turn it over to a higher authority, in this case the AG, for the investigation. Wasn’t this the case the state attorney was on when she was arrested for contempt a few weeks ago, I can’t remember?

      (11) 21 Total Votes - 16 up - 5 down
    • r0y says:

      Not sure about the CCN stuff, but how is getting the State AG involved NOT the proper procedure? I mean, we had CAPSLO investigate themselves and found that Dee Torres did no wrong. Trust me, “internal” investigations are NOT as on the “up and up” as one would hope. I think Mr. Dow did the correct thing, it was simply that the defense attorney was likely better at the job than the prosecutor(s).

      (3) 7 Total Votes - 5 up - 2 down

Leave a Comment