Dating someone in Santa Barbara County Jail

valentine-prisonSometimes love knows no bounds.  For inmates in Santa Barbara County Jail, dating someone can be difficult to say the least.  Valentine’s Day is coming up, so here are some tips and suggestions that can help you continue your loving relationship.

When someone is in custody, the first thing you may want to consider is calling a Santa Barbara Bail Bonds agent to see if there is a possibility the inmate can be released.  This is especially true if it’s a new arrest.  Oftentimes, people are taken to jail on petty or misdemeanor charges.  In many of those instances, the arrestee may be let go with a citation or on his/her own recognizance.

Valentine's DayIf the charges are more serious, or if the person has prior convictions, then there still may be a possibility of getting a bail bond.  This would allow the defendant to attend Santa Barbara Superior Court at a later date.  Although Valentine’s Day is on a Sunday in 2016, the stress of leaving someone in custody may ruin the romantic celebration.

In situations where a bail bond is not possible and the person is actually serving a sentence, then you will need to contact the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department about visiting the inmate in person.  There are many different schedules, so it’s best to call them ahead of time to find out exactly when to make your plans.

If visiting someone in Santa Barbara County Jail is not possible, then try writing a letter.  When you call the jail at 805-681-4260, you will hear recorded information on their address.  Furthermore, it will also instruct you on how to properly address the envelope so it gets to the right person.

Dating someone in Santa Barbara County Jail is not that unusual.  If you’re on Facebook, you can check out a video we posted on our page that gives advice on the situation: Absolutely Affordable Bail Bonds.  Hopefully you will find that special someone on Valentine’s Day and if they happen to be in jail, then this advice may help.

What does bail bonds have to do with Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving and bail bonds? It may seem odd to consider it upon first glance.  However, if you really think about it, there could be much to be thankful for during the long holiday weekend.  There may be situation in which a bail bond is necessary.  Sometimes things happen that you don’t necessarily anticipate.

Thanksgiving turkey in jail
Don’t be this turkey!

Thanksgiving weekend is a long break for the Santa Barbara County Superior Court system.  As such, getting arrested on the Tuesday or Wednesday before the actual holiday will result in an extended stay in county jail.  A person might actually be in custody for up to five days without seeing a judge.  For many families, this would be devastating.

In addition, Thanksgiving weekend is a time of heightened alert for law enforcement personnel.  The California Highway Patrol, Santa Barbara Police and County Sheriff’s officials will be very wary of criminal activity.  Driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance are just the tip of the iceberg.

Black Friday means plenty of shoppers running from store to store.  Many people do not take the time to properly secure their merchandise, thereby affording opportunities for thieves to take advantage.  Stolen goods is a problem during this peak shopping period.

Santa Barbara County Jail will be especially busy, so being in custody will not be a pleasant experience.  Not that being incarcerated is a vacation, but with overcrowding things can get extremely stressful.  Processing times for bail bonds may be prolonged due to this situation.

Thanksgiving is a time for families to gather and eat great food.  If a friend or family members gets arrested, that would surely dampen the mood.  The great thing about a bail bond is that the person will be given an opportunity to spend quality time free from custody.  That individual would surely know the meaning of giving thanks indeed.

Absolutely Affordable Bail Bonds will be open everyday throughout the Thanksgiving weekend.  So, if you’re in the Santa Barbara area, they are ready and willing to help in your time of need.  And, as always, they are happy to offer free bail advice with no obligation whatsoever.  Remember that Thanksgiving is a time for family, not jail.

Brian Hook Facing Multiple Felonies for Having Sex with Underaged Minor

The Orcutt Resident is a Social Sciences Teacher and Girl’s Basketball Coach

by Jae Brattain | posted 02.25.2014

Detectives from the Santa Maria Police Department investigated Brian Thomas Hook after there were accusation that he had multiple inappropriate relations with a student at Pioneer Valley High School.  The first incident took place around January 14th.  There was also a second occurrence, which happened around February 13th.  The name of the alleged victim was not, and likely will not, be released because she is only 16-years old.

Brian Thomas Hook

Authorities from the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District contacted local law enforcement on February 19th.  They had been alerted of the sexual encounters by Pioneer Valley High staff members.  Brian Hook, who is 53-years old, was said to have committed several sexual assaults against one of the students over a 4-month period.

The next day, police obtained a search warrant and went to Hook’s home.  They also investigated other locations related to the crime, but the specific areas were not identified.  Once they served the warrant, Hook was taken into custody and transported to Santa Barbara County Jail.

At the time of his incarceration, he was being charged with oral copulation, unlawful intercourse, and penetration of a foreign object.  Each of the charges have to do with a minor and all are felony level.  His bail bond was set at $100,000.

Pioneer Valley girls basketball coach Brian Hook talks to his team during a timeout against St. Joseph on Jan. 15, 2014.


As a certificated teacher and coach, Hook was in a position of authority.  Due to the fact that investigation is still in progress, not many details have come to light.  District authorities have only indicated that they are working with law enforcement.  Police are urging that anyone with information about this case contact their detective bureau.  The detective in charge is Sgt. Paul Van Meel.

According to Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley, the defendant will be facing four felony charges total for his sexual encounter with the minor.  He will be going to court in the Santa Maria Cook division of the Santa Barbara County Superior Court.

Police Arrest Phillip Cummings for Pulling Gun on Dog

This is the weapon taken from Phillip Cummings after he pulled it on a dog (Santa Barbara Police Department photo)

Suspect had Loaded 9-mm Handgun

by Jae Brattain | posted 02.19.2014

Phillip Edmond Cummings

Phillip Edmond Cummings was out for a stroll with his canine companion in his neighborhood on Tuesday, February 19th.  While on his outing, he came across another dog that was not on a leash or secured.  Fearing that the dog was a threat, he proceeded to get a 9-mm handgun from his home.

The dog was in a driveway which is shared by several apartments.  The canine actually belonged to a nearby neighbor.  After getting his pistol, Cummings pointed the gun at the dog and ordered it to move towards a secure area.  He yelled repeatedly at the animal, apparently thinking it could understand human commands.  The dog eventually did move back and Cummings returned back to his residence.

The incident took place near the corner of De La Vina Street and West Figueroa.  Other neighbors in a nearby apartment complex reported the incident to the Santa Barbara Police Department.  They saw the 41-year old man brandishing the weapon and yelling at the canine.

When officers arrived at the scene, they went to Cummings home.  After knocking on the door, the suspect answered with the gun still tucked in his waistline.  The weapon was fully loaded and as a result, he was arrested.  Cummings did not resist arrest and went with the officers without incident.

He was transported to Santa Barbara County Jail and booked into custody.  His bail bond is set at $35,000 for possession of a firearm in public.  If he does not post bond, his first court date will be Thursday, February 21st, at Santa Barbara Superior Court.

Officials at Santa Barbara County Jail Re-thinking Inmate Release Policy

Santa Barbara County JailReport by Santa Barbara County Grand Jury Points out Several Issues

by Jae Brattain | posted 02.11.2014

In a report by the Santa Barbara County Grand Jury, members point out problems with the release system currently in place by the Sheriff’s Department.  One of the main issues is when inmates are released during the night.  Since the jail is far from public transportation options in terms of walking distance, it is difficult to find a ride.  Deputies were not telling inmates how to find transportation either verbally or in writing.

Santa Barbara County Jail is located on a hill away from commercial businesses.  At night, it could be especially problematic because Calle Real is not as well lit as many residential or business streets.  With an average of 20 to 40 releases in a 24-hour period, many are released at night.  The grand jury report indicates that there was approximately nine releases between the hours of 11:00 pm and 6:00 am.

The current policy mandates that if an individual is let go during late night hours, the person should be told of the option to stay on the premises until the morning.  Either the individual can sit in the jail lobby area or on benches located outside.  In both cases, the released inmate would not be charged with trespassing by Sheriff’s deputies.  Nevertheless, there is no exact policy in place as to what is being told to a released inmate.

Inside the jail lobby are only two plastic seats

Another issue problematic to the situation is that the jail lobby is devoid of any real seating.  Currently there are two plastic chairs attached to each other, which sits toward the left of the exit door from the detention area.  There are restrooms in the lobby, as well as a drinking fountain.  However, the area can best be described as spartan.

According to Custody Operations Chief Deputy Laz Salinas, the Sheriff’s Department is working on solutions to remedy the issues pointed out in the report by the grand jury.  One possible answer is to have officials from Santa Barbara County Superior Court widen the time frame in which an inmate can be released.  By doing so, it would help better fit public transportation schedules.

Late night releases are especially difficult for individuals that are either mentally ill or have drug and alcohol addiction.  Suzanne Riordan, who is director of the organization Families ACT!, knows first hand of the problem.  Her son had issues with drug addiction and said that her son was once released during the night with only his undershorts.  He passed away of an overdose in 2005.

Santa Barbara Bail Bonds agents also know of the issues.  The jail staff releases inmates during all hours of the night when posting a bond.  Agents do not know if an individual has mental health problems or drug and alcohol addiction if they do not speak directly with the inmate.  In many cases, they deal only with friends and family members who may not disclose these issues.

In some instances, jailers have the option to hold someone for 12-hours past a release date if they feel the individuals safety is in question.  They can also direct someone to Crisis and Recovery Emergency Services, which is under the Santa Barbara County Department of Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services.

One suggestion that grand jury offered was to use a program model after Orange County.  It is privately funded by The Society of St. Vincent de Paul.  Essentially, a motor home is stationed by volunteers from 10:00 pm to 3:00 am.  Released inmates are offered hot beverages, snacks, use of a cell phone, and transportation schedules.

According to Salinas, the jail staff are working to develop something similar in Santa Barbara.  It would provide a temporary safe haven to help inmates transition back into society.  No word was given about the time frame of when the program might start.

Ronal Beltran Taken Back Into Custody for Arson and Weapon Charges

Police Officers stand over Ronald Beltran near Ortega Park after his arrest for arson and weapons charges (Urban Hikers photo)

Already Charged with Attempted Murder, but Released from Jail

by Jae Brattain | posted 01.13.14

Ronald Anthony Beltran

Santa Barbara Police arrested Ronald Anthony Beltran after he set a vehicle on fire near the corner of East Gutierrez and North Quarantina Street.  Firefighters from the City Fire Department were called about 2:30 pm Sunday afternoon.  Upon arrival, they saw a minivan ablaze and quickly extinguished the flames.

Shortly thereafter, family members of the 39-year old Beltran had contacted authorities to let them know his intentions of burning the minivan.  He also verbally indicated that he wanted to commit “Suicide-by-Cop,” which is when a person wants to die, but do not want to kill themselves.  In other words, a suicidal individual tries to provoke a lethal response from an armed officer or deputy through threatening behavior.

At approximately 2:40 pm, officers found Beltran near Ortega park and promptly chased after him.  During the chase, Beltran stopped in his tracks and made verbal threats that he possessed a weapon.  This gave the pursuers momentary pause, but they continued onward and eventually used a Taser gun to bring him down into submission.  Officers placed Beltran into handcuffs and proceeded to search his body.  During their frisk, police found a knife.

He was taken to Santa Barbara County Jail and is being held without bail bond again.  Beltran was released from custody after an incident in which he stabbed a relative last week.  That case is still active and he faced charged of attempted-murder, stealing a truck, and resisting arrest.  No information has been provided by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department about why he had been released when previously he had no bail.  However, according to police, Beltran is expected to have no bail in this new case.  If not released, he is scheduled to go to Santa Barbara Superior Court on Tuesday, January 14.

Salvador Munoz of Buelton Caught with Child Pornography

Thousands of Lewd Photos of Kids Discovered on iPhone and Computer

By Jae Brattain | Posted 01.08.2014

Salvador Gallegos Munoz

On December 19, 2013, Salvador Gallegos Munoz went to a Sprint Store in Santa Barbara to exchange his iPhone 4S to a newer iPhone 5 model.  The store technician took the older phone and hooked it up with the new one.  He began transferring the data between devices, when he noticed images of pre-teen boys performing lewd acts.  The employee contacted his corporate office security division about the situation, in which they instructed him to call the Santa Barbara Police Department.

Officer arrived on scene and confiscated the iPhone 4S for evidence.  After receiving a search warrant to go through the device, detectives discovered three photos of children engaged in sexual conduct.  One image showed two boys, who appear to be 10 to 12-year old in age, performing lascivious acts with each other.  Shortly afterwards, the detectives were able to get a $20,000 warrant issued for the arrest of Munoz.  In addition, another search warrant was obtained from a judge to search his home near Pea Soup Andersen’s in Buelton.

400 Block of Central Avenue near Pea Soup Andersen’s in Buelton

Execution of the warrants took place at approximately 7:00 am on Tuesday, January 7, 2014.  Munoz was immediately taken into custody by officers and his computer was searched thoroughly.  Detectives discovered thousands of images and videos on his hard drive.  By his own admission, Munoz indicated that he had been accumulating child pornography for at least eight years.  He also exchanged images and videos with other users over the Internet during that time period.  During the interrogation, Munoz denied being involved in any physical sexual acts or abuse.

Detectives are investigating the situation further.  Munoz was transported to the Santa Barbara County Jail where his bail bond has been set in the amount of $20,000.

Police Arrest Ronald Beltran for Attempted Murder and Auto Theft

Suspect Being Held at Santa Barbara County Jail with No Bail

By Jae Brattain | Posted 01.07.2013

Ronald Anthony Beltran

Officers from the Santa Barbara Police Department answered a call over the weekend about a stolen vehicle near the corner of East Figueroa and North Milpas.  The victim informed the police that Ronald Beltran, 39, had taken his truck without permission and stabbed him with a knife around 3:30 pm Sunday afternoon.  However, the report was not made until 11:30 pm in the evening.

The 46-year old male, who is related to Beltran, had been taking a shower at the time when the stabbing incident occurred.  Beltran wielded a knife while threatening his life, then punctured the victim twice in the back.  The wounds were superficial and did not require hospitalization.  But it was serious enough to justify attempted murder charges.

Another relative happened to be nearby and assisted by intervening in the situation.  Beltran left the residence, but the victim did not report the incident immediately.  He left the home for personal matters and returned around 9:00 pm.  Upon his return, the victim noticed his vehicle was gone.  Another relative indicated that Beltran took the keys and truck.

1100 Block of North Milpas Street

California Highway Patrol officers notified police that the vehicle had been involved in a collision, but was unoccupied when inspecting the scene.  It was located near the intersection of Old Coast Highway and the 101 Freeway.

During this time, patrolmen had been watching a van owned by Beltran near Milpas Street.  At approximately 12:45 am, the assailant returned and was confronted by officers at the scene.  He resisted arrest, but was eventually taken into custody after a scuffle.

Investigators noted that relatives said Beltran appeared heavily intoxicated before everything occurred.  However, detectives were not able to ascertain a motive because the suspect refused to provide any information.  Nevertheless, Beltran did admit that he wanted to provoke the victim into a fight by taking the truck without permission.

He is being held at Santa Barbara County Jail with no bail bonds.  He faces multiple charges including attempted murder, hit and run, stealing a vehicle, and resisting arrest by police.  His first hearing will be Tuesday, January 7, at Santa Barbara County Superior Court.

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