Man booked, released after 2-kilo seizure 

An L.A. County Sheriff's Department badge
An L.A. County Sheriff's Department badge

A Santa Clarita man was booked and released after detectives with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Bureau seized more than 2 kilograms of cocaine and a pair of handguns in a raid they conducted earlier this month. 

The suspect, Francisco Javier “Pancho” Chavez, 31, of Canyon Country, was arrested Feb. 8 on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, according to LASD custody records available online. 

Detectives became aware through an informant that a man matching the description of their suspect lives off Zion Drive in Santa Clarita — just west of Lost Canyon Road, south of Soledad Canyon Road — where he lives. He also maintains a second residence in San Fernando, where an informant reported seeing him selling large quantities of cocaine, according to a sworn statement in court records obtained by The Signal. 

With the help of an informant, detectives set up a pair of purchases of cocaine from Chavez, according to their investigative reports, which the detectives observed using surveillance techniques. 

The detectives noted in their report of the investigation that it’s common for narcotics dealers to keep their stash of narcotics away from their primary residence in order to prevent it from being discovered by officers during a search. 

After detectives observed the suspect at both locations — including one on Fellows Avenue in San Fernando — and conducted the purchases and confirmed the narcotics through laboratory testing, two search warrants were issued that resulted in deputies seizing a pair of firearms, both a .38-caliber and a .45-caliber pistol, ammunition and parts for both handguns and more than 2 kilograms of cocaine, as well as other bags of cocaine and more than $8,000 in cash, according to the court records. 

A Drug Enforcement Administration news release in April put the street value of a kilogram of cocaine at approximately $20,000.  

Chavez was arrested around 11:40 a.m. Feb. 8, booked about 15 minutes later and then released at 6:19 p.m. that evening, according to departmental records, which cited the reason as, “book and release.” 

The records also indicated he was expected in court later this month, but a spokesperson from the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office was not immediately available Monday to discuss any potential charges, as the DA’s offices were closed due to the Presidents Day holiday. There was no indication yet online. 

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