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Update: Ten indicted by grand jury for cocaine trafficking operation 

More than five kilos of cocaine were seized in the bust.

More than five kilos of cocaine were seized in the bust.

One defendant still at large with $1 million arrest warrant

– Ten defendants were indicted by a criminal grand jury in San Luis Obispo on Wednesday in connection with a large scale cocaine trafficking ring. Seven of the defendants were previously charged by criminal complaint based on the same conduct. That complaint was dismissed today on the motion of the District Attorney because the complaint was superseded by the filing of the indictment. The individuals indicted are:

Chase Micheal Hanson, 25, of Morro Bay
Jason Vidal Sianez, 27, of Atascadero
Dane James Bennett, 26, of Morro Bay
Alexander Allan Maltarese, 31, of Cayucos
Johnathan David Byham, 25, of Atascadero
Joseph Arch Messineo, 39, of Atascadero
Alexander John Getzbouchillon, 23, of Morro Bay
Johnnie James Medina Jr., 27, of Morro Bay
Saywer Scott Sackett, 18, of Paso Robles
Zachary Benjamin Silver, 28. (Still at large)

The Indictment alleges conspiracy to sell or transport cocaine and possess cocaine for sale; two counts of transportation or sale of cocaine; two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon (Chase Hanson and Dane Bennett); five counts of possession of cocaine for sale by individual defendants; a prior prison term enhancement (Chase Hanson); and enhancements for quantities of cocaine that exceeded four kilograms by weight.

Messineo, Medina, and Silver were not originally charged in the criminal complaint.

Zachary Benjamin Silver is currently at-large and a $1 million arrest warrant has been issued for his arrest. The nine remaining defendants are in-custody at the county jail with bail set at $1 million.

The case is set for Pre-Trial Conference on Aug. 28 in Dept. 9 before the Hon. Judge Roger Picquet.

 

 

Original story posted Aug. 12

Nine local residents arrested

– As a result of an investigation that began in November of 2014, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday that its narcotics unit has successfully shut down a major cocaine distribution organization that was operating in the county. The bust is believed to be the largest cocaine bust in the county within the last three decades. Nine suspects were arrested.

Investigators served search warrants over three days at four different locations in the county including Morro Bay, Los Osos, Atascadero and Paso Robles.

Allied agencies that helped with the investigation were the Drug Enforcement Agency, San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s investigators, San Luis Obispo Police Department, county probation department, CHP, Irish law enforcement, and Homeland Security Investigations.

The sheriff’s office waited until Tuesday to conduct a press conference because investigators were still in the process of serving search warrants last week, including one on Friday night, and did not want to jeopardize the investigation.

Semi-automatic rifles, handguns, and ammunition were also confiscated.

Semi-automatic rifles, handguns, and ammunition were also confiscated.

More than five kilos of cocaine were seized at the locations, with an estimated street value of more than $200,000. Semi-automatic rifles, handguns, and ammunition were also confiscated.

Investigators say that this is one of the biggest drug busts in recent history. It involved a very sophisticated criminal operation that was distributing and dealing kilos of cocaine at a time, not only inside the county but to surrounding counties as well. It’s believed that this operation has ties to Mexican drug cartels.

The following local residents were arrested:

Chase Micheal Hanson, 25, of Morro Bay was arrested for conspiracy to commit a crime, transportation and sale of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for sale, first degree residential burglary, and maintaining a place for the sale of narcotics.

Dane James Bennett, 26, of Morro Bay, was arrested for conspiracy to commit a crime, transportation and sale of a controlled substance, and possession of a controlled substance for sale.

Johnathan David Byham, 25, of Atascadero, was arrested for conspiracy to commit a crime, transportation and sale of a controlled substance, and possession of a controlled substance for sale.

Saywer Scott Sackett, 18, of Paso Robles, was arrested for conspiracy to commit a crime, transportation and sale of a controlled substance, and possession of a controlled substance for sale.

Johnnie James Medina Jr., 27, of Morro Bay, was arrested for conspiracy to commit a crime, first degree residential burglary, and receiving stolen property.

Alexander John Getzbouchillon, 23, of Morro Bay, was arrested for conspiracy to commit a crime, transportation and sale of a controlled substance, and possession of a controlled substance for sale.

Jason Vidal Sianez, 27, of Atascadero, was arrested for conspiracy to commit a crime, transportation and sale of a controlled substance, and possession of a controlled substance for sale.

Joseph Arch Messineo, 39, of Atascadero, was arrested for conspiracy to commit a crime, possession of a controlled substance for sale, cultivating marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale.

Alexander Allan Maltarese, 31, of Cayucos, was arrested for conspiracy to commit a crime, transportation and sale of a controlled substance, and possession of a controlled substance for sale.

The operation was believed to be a mid-level operation, with “higher-ups” providing large-scale quantities, and then lower street sellers distributing the product.

Chase Micheal Hanson.

Chase Micheal Hanson.

Dane James Bennett.

Dane James Bennett.

Jonathan David Byham.

Jonathan David Byham.

Sawyer Scott Sackett.

Sawyer Scott Sackett.

Johnnie Jeames Medina Jr.

Johnnie Jeames Medina Jr.

Alexander John Getzbouchillon.

Alexander John Getzbouchillon.

Jason Vidal Sianez.

Jason Vidal Sianez.

Joseph Arch Messineo.

Joseph Arch Messineo.

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About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on , Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at scott@pasoroblesdailynews.com.

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