Santa Barbara County deputies arrest suspects over contraband at the jail

December 15, 2022

Santa Barbara County Northern Branch Jail

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

Following a string of overdoses at Santa Barbara County’s Northern Branch Jail near Santa Maria, several individuals have been arrested for attempting to bring illegal substances into the facility, sheriff’s officials say. [KSBY]

Additionally, several contracted commissary workers were recently banned from the Northern Branch Jail for security violations. None of those individuals were arrested, though.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is not disclosing whom deputies have arrested in the case, nor the specific violations committed by commissary workers.

In October, three inmates overdosed, one of whom died, within the span of a week at the Northern Branch Jail. Five inmate overdoses have occurred at the jail since it opened in January, according to the sheriff’s office.

One former inmate at the jail told KSBY he recently saw drug use and sales inside the facility. Former inmate Kaden Bedard also said fentanyl is sweeping into communities and is causing many issues.

Bedard was booked in the Northern Branch Jail on Nov. 24 for a probation violation.

A sheriff’s office investigation into overdoses at the jail remains ongoing.


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