Santa Barbara, Calif – The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office has arrested two suspects for their involvement in the double murder committed on Burtis Street on January 7, 2020. Detectives arrested 21-year-old Bryan Munoz and 24-year-old Joshua Isaac Vega, both of Santa Barbara, during warrant service this morning at four addresses in the city of Santa Barbara. The warrant locations were at residences in the 1900-block of Robbins Street, 600-block of W Cota, 600 block of N. Voluntario, and 800 block of San Pascual. Two additional suspects were arrested during the warrant service, including 32-year-old Jorge Luis Silva Guevara of Santa Barbara for possession of narcotics for sales, and a 15-year-old male juvenile, who was arrested on an outstanding no-bail warrant for a violation of probation.
During the press conference, Sheriff Brown thanked assisting agencies including the Santa Barbara Police Department, Santa Barbara City Fire Department, and Santa Barbara City Animal Control. Sheriff Brown also acknowledge the many divisions within the Sheriff’s Office that were part of this operation, including the Criminal Investigation Division, Special Investigation Bureau, Special Enforcement Team, K9 Units and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff-Fire Air Support Unit.
Sheriff Brown shared that the victims of this crime, 19-year-old Enzo Marino Rastelli and 19-year-old Jasper Pieter van der Meulen were college students who made some bad choices and fell victim to what is often thought to be a victimless crime: the unlicensed sale of marijuana. Sheriff Brown called this a “tragic example of the sinister and dangerous crimes that are associated with illegal drug sales” and added that “It appears as though these murders were the result of a drug deal gone bad” – and that the suspects committed a “robbery rip-off.” The Sheriff’s Office would like to know if these suspects have been involved in any other “robbery rip-offs” involving victims who may have been reluctant to report such crimes. He said, “We are not interested in the drug sales element of any related incidents – only the robbery rip-off aspect.” Sheriff Brown encouraged anyone who has been similarly robbed to contact Sheriff’s Detectives at (805)681-4150, or anyone can leave an anonymous tip by calling (805)681-4171 or online at SBSheriff.org.
Sheriff Brown closed the press conference by saying, “The arrests made today send a clear message to members of criminal street gangs in Santa Barbara County and beyond. If you commit crimes in our county, we will identify you, we will hunt you down, we will arrest you, we will put you in jail and we will bring you to justice”.
Bryan Munoz has been booked at the Santa Barbara Main Jail for two counts of murder, special circumstances: more than one offense of murder, special circumstance: murder committed during commission of robbery, robbery, criminal conspiracy and felony committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang. He is being held without bail.
Joshua Isaac Vega has been booked at the Santa Barbara Main Jail for robbery and criminal conspiracy. He is being held on $50,000 bail.