Child Taken Into Custody After Officers Find Drugs, Cash in Vehicle in El Monte: Sheriff’s Office

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office provided this image of cash they said was retrieved by investigators during a drug bust on Aug. 29, 2018.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office provided this image of cash they said was retrieved by investigators during a drug bust on Aug. 29, 2018.

Officials took a child into custody after finding  drugs believed to be for sale and thousands of dollars in cash in a vehicle in El Monte, authorities announced Thursday.

Baldwin Park residents Christian Omar Barcelo Mendoza, 26, and Julie Villa Roman, 24, were arrested on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine and heroin for sale, transportation of methamphetamine and heroin and child endangerment.

Detectives involved in a drug bust in Ventura had followed the pair’s vehicle and stopped them in El Monte with help from Arcadia police, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.

The agency said it had been investigating 55-year-old Randall Nelson, a narcotics dealer in Santa Maria, for about five weeks when officers saw him meet and exchange a package with Barcelo Mendoza and Villa Roman in Ventura.

Investigators followed Nelson into a hotel, where they served a search warrant in his room and found five ounces of meth, one ounce of heroin, evidence of sales, pepper spray and narcotic paraphernalia, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Nelson was arrested on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine and heroin for sale.

Additional detectives traveled behind Barcelo Mendoza and Villa Roman. When they finally stopped their car in L.A. County, they found a 2-year-old child inside and about $9,000 in cash, authorities said.

A detection dog also “alerted to several areas in the vehicle including the child’s car seat,” according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services took the toddler into protective custody.

Officials provided no further information.