Sheriff’s Bust Nets Guns, Drugs, Cash

Written by Estero Bay News

March 8, 2023

Items reportedly found during a traffic stop in Nipomo. Photo submitted

County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested two Santa Maria people on various drug and weapons charges following an early morning traffic stop in rural Nipomo.

According to Sheriff’s spokesman Tony Cipolla, at about 5 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, deputies pulled over a suspicious vehicle at Guadalupe Road and Via Concha Road in Nipomo for undisclosed vehicle code violations. 

Deputies determined that the man driving and his female passenger “were under the influence of a controlled substance,” Cipolla said.

The driver, identified as Salvador Pompa, 40 of Santa Maria was reportedly a convicted felon, and allegedly “was found to have a loaded, concealed handgun on him,” Cipolla said, adding that the 9 mm pistol was a so-called “ghost gun,” meaning it was made with a gun kit and had no serial number. Deputies also reportedly found a replica of an M4, semi-automatic rifle in the vehicle.

Deputies, upon searching the vehicle, reportedly found a stash of drugs. “Further investigation led to the discovery of large quantities of narcotics in the vehicle,” Cipolla said. “Deputies seized 4 ounces of suspected Methamphetamine, 3 ounces of suspected Fentanyl and a large quantity of suspected Heroin in addition to $2,700 in cash. The total street value of the narcotics seized is approximately $18,000.”

The female passenger, identified as Jessika Zepeda, 34 of Santa Maria, was apparently an accomplice. 

Cipolla said that Zepeda, “was arrested for conspiracy, possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for sale, under the influence of a controlled substance and knowingly bringing a controlled substance into the jail.”

Pompa was charged with suspicion of “conspiracy, being a felon in possession of a firearm, carrying a loaded firearm with a prior felony conviction, possession of a controlled substance while armed with a loaded firearm, transportation for sale of narcotics, transport a controlled substance, knowingly bringing a controlled substance into the jail, and several other drug related charges.” Both were booked into County Jail.  

Cipolla was alarmed at the amount of the poisonous Fentanyl.

“The amount of suspected Fentanyl seized,” Cipolla said, “potentially could have contributed to thousands of overdose deaths.”

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