Crime

Oceano man arrested on assault weapons, drug charges

An Oceano man was arrested Tuesday morning on a host of felony charges including possession of an assault weapon and a large-capacity magazine, in a follow-up to an April investigation that led to the arrest of 12 people on suspicion of drug-trafficking charges, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office said.

Within three hours of his booking, Octavio Castro, 32, was released after posting the required 10 percent of his $45,000 bail.

As the investigation is ongoing, sheriff’s officials are releasing few details but said Tuesday afternoon that investigators from the Sheriff’s Gang Task Force and the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force pulled Castro over in a traffic stop on Elks Lane in San Luis Obispo early Tuesday morning.

Castro had a warrant out for his arrest in relation to a joint investigation dubbed “Operation: All In The Family,” which targeted a trafficking ring allegedly run by a Nipomo family suspected of operating between early 2013 and late 2014 in and around Santa Maria and distributing very high-quality methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, FBI Special Agent Terry Wade said in April.

On April 7, authorities raided eight homes and arrested 12 people after allegedly confiscating 65 rifles, shotguns and handguns, as well as about $165,000 in cash and an undisclosed amount of drugs. The large-scale operation was carried out by the FBI, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s and District Attorney’s offices, the CHP, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Pismo Beach, Guadalupe, Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo and Grover Beach police departments.

The investigation began in 2013, Wade said.

Though the 12 arrested in April are facing charges in U.S. District Court, felony charges of possessing an assault weapon, possessing a large-capacity magazine, and cultivation and sale of marijuana were filed against Castro by local prosecutors in San Luis Obispo Superior Court on Nov. 20, Assistant District Attorney Lee Cunningham said. A Superior Court judge issued an arrest warrant the same day.

Sheriff’s Office spokesman Tony Cipolla said Castro was not in possession of any of those items during his arrest Tuesday and that the charges against him stemmed from items allegedly discovered during the April raids that linked him to the investigation. Castro was taken into custody without incident and booked into San Luis Obispo County Jail.

He was booked at about 9 a.m. and was released after posting bail at 12:16 p.m., Cipolla said.

The other 12 defendants in the case each made initial appearances in federal court in Los Angeles following the raids. A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office could not immediately be reached for an update on those cases Tuesday afternoon.

No court date had yet been scheduled for Castro as of Tuesday evening.

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