Drug search of El Centro shack nets meth, heroin, cousins arrested

January 26, 2001|By MARCY MISNER, Staff Writer

Narcotics detectives searched a filthy shack in the 200 block of Olive Avenue on Thursday morning and arrested two cousins and confiscated several hundred doses' worth of methamphetamine and heroin.

The two-room building, in the back yard of a house at 282 E. Olive Ave., was inhabited by four pit-bull-type dogs, nine of their puppies, two men and a woman when the El Centro Police Department's emergency response team entered Thursday morning.

El Centro narcotics detective Dub Perkins said the team found Steven Vasquez, 28, and a woman lying on a couch and Vasquez's cousin Michael Gonzalez, 24, asleep on the filthy floor.

There was no electricity or running water connected to the shack, Perkins said. Dog urine and feces abounded in the building where the two men lived, Perkins said.


"I don't even know how to describe it … the muck," Perkins said.

Perkins said the emergency response team was involved in the search because Vasquez has a history of arrests including battery on a police officer and drug sales.

Detectives searched the occupants and found a quarter ounce of methamphetamine and five grams of heroin in Vasquez's pockets.

Perkins said the powder methamphetamine could yield about 350 lines, or doses, and there were about 500 doses of heroin contained in the 5 grams seized.

Vasquez was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and heroin for sales and maintaining a place where drugs were sold. Gonzalez was cited and released for being in a place where drugs were sold, Perkins said. The woman was not arrested.

Some of Vasquez and Gonzalez's family members live in the house at the front of the property. Their home was not involved in Thursday's search, Perkins said.

The dogs were turned over to family members.

Vasquez posted $15,000 bail Thursday and was later released from the county jail, according to county Sheriff's Office records.

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