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Crime

More arrests made in January double homicide in Eastside Santa Barbara

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Two more arrests have been made in the ongoing investigation into the double homicide of two young men in Santa Barbara.

On Wednesday, Santa Barbara police announced the arrests of a 35-year-old Carpinteria man and a 30-year-old Ventura man who were taken into custody in connection to the January 3 shooting deaths of Angel Castillo and Omar Montiel-Hernandez.

On April 8, police served a search warrant at the home of Fernando Gutierrez, 35, of Carpinteria on the 1100 block of Mark Avenue. Gutierrez was booked into the Santa Barbara County jail in connection to the January shootings. Gutierrez, who police say is believed to be associated with a criminal street gang, faces charges for illegal weapons charges, street terrorism and possession of an assault weapon.

The following week on April 12, Santa Barbara police detectives served another search warrant in Ventura. Officers arrested Edgardo Romero, 30, of Ventura on the 600 block of Empire Avenue. He was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail and is being held without bail. He faces charges for being accessory to murder and multiple illegal weapon charges.

Deputies confiscated the following items during the service of these warrants:

  • 3 non-serialized assault type rifles
  • 1 revolver
  • 3 semi-automatic handguns
  • 16 high capacity assault rifle magazines
  • 1 high capacity handgun drum magazine
  • 8 bulletproof vests, most with steel plate armor
  • 2400+ rounds of assorted live ammunition (high velocity rifle & handgun ammunition)
  • "Significant" evidence of gang-related activity

Angel Castillo and Omar Montiel-Hernandez were gunned down in the area of Liberty Street and South Soledad Street. Two others were injured in the shooting on January 3.

The two men are the latest to be arrested in connection to the January murders.

On April 8, Angel Eduardo Varela, Oscar Martin Trujillo-Gutierrez and Emilio Perez, all of Carpinteria, were arrested as part of the investigation. Those three are facing charges for homicide in the deaths of Castillo and Montiel-Hernandez as well as attempted murder charges against three minors who were in the vehicle at the time of the shooting.

Santa Barbara - South County / Ventura County
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