Santa Rosa police seize 2 pounds of heroin during arrest of two suspects
Santa Rosa police on Wednesday confiscated more than 2 pounds of heroin, the largest amount of the narcotic seized in the city at one time in at least a year, and arrested two men as part of an investigation into North Bay drug rings.
Tips led police officers to Santa Rosa residents Javier Alejandro Pacheco-Moya, 24, who they believe is linked to broader drug dealers, and 18-year-old Javier Alejandro Orozco-Romero. After two months of surveillance, police spotted the men leaving a house on Powderhorn Avenue in south Santa Rosa near Taylor Mountain Elementary School.
After searching the two, officers discovered Pacheco-Moya had in his possession 2 pounds of heroin and a half-pound of methamphetamine, said Sgt. Brian Boettger, who leads the city Police Department’s narcotics team. Police suspect the men are connected to drug dealers outside the area, but Boettger said he could not discuss how far-reaching those operations extend.
Investigators searched the Santa Rosa house on Powderhorn where Pacheco-Moya was known to be staying and found more heroin and methamphetamine plus $15,000 in cash, police said. There also were other items in the home, including digital scales, receipts and packaging materials. Orozco-Romero was allegedly also dealing drugs from the same house, police said.
“Because of the fentanyl and opioid epidemic that’s just what we are seeing,” Boettger said of the big seizure of drugs and paraphrenalia. “It is commonplace nowadays.”
A decade ago, Boettger said occasionally he would come across heroin, never as frequently as his team does now.
“We are regularly seizing half-pounds and up of heroin,” he said. “The 2 pounds we found today would usually mean you had a career case on your hands, but not anymore.”
Boettger called Pacheco-Moya and Orozco-Romero “low-hanging fruit,” meaning they are not leaders of a drug cartel.
“The people on the street dealing, they are at the bottom of the drug-trafficking organizations,” he said, noting they are expendable to the cartels.
Pacheco-Moya and Orozco-Romero were arrested and booked into Sonoma County Jail on counts of suspicion of possessing for sale heroin and methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute narcotics and dealing drugs within a school zone.
Each is being held on $50,000 bail.
You can reach Staff Writer Alexandria Bordas at 707-521-5337 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @CrossingBordas.