Alleged Drug Dealer Busted in Atascadero

Written by Neil Farrell

Neil has been a journalist covering the Estero Bay Area for over 27 years. He’s won numerous journalism awards in several different categories over his career.

February 25, 2021

An Atascadero man was arrested on suspicion of possessing illegal drugs for sale. Among his stash were heroin [in the small tied-off baggies shown here]; two black pouches with Xanax pills; a small Ziplock baggie with fentanyl; and methamphetamine. Photos courtesy SLO County Sheriff’s Department

The Sheriff’s Office and Atascadero Police arrested a North County man on several counts of suspicion of possession of a controlled substance for sale and a committing a felony while out on bail.
Sheriff’s spokesman Tony Cipolla said in a news release that at about 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, the Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit was told that a vehicle associated “with a known drug dealer,” was parked at a hotel in the 6800 block of El Camino Real in Atascadero.
“The suspect exited that hotel where he had been staying,” Cipolla said, “drove off and was subsequently stopped by Atascadero Police Officers for a driving infraction.”
The suspect, identified as Christopher Rafael Burrell, 45 of Atascadero, was out on bail for a prior arrest, which meant he was subject to search and seizure, according to Cipolla. A search of Burrell’s car and the motel room reportedly unearthed a cache of illegal drugs and ill-gotten money.
“A search of Burrell’s hotel room,” Cipolla said, “resulted in the discovery of 220 grams of methamphetamine [worth an estimated $1,500]; 35 grams of fentanyl [$4,200]; 11 grams of heroin [$375] and more than 1,000 Xanax pills [$4,000] that were packaged for sale. In addition, more than $1,000 in cash was recovered from his vehicle.”
Burrell was booked for three counts of suspicion of possession of a controlled substance for sale and a committing a felony while out on bail.

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