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UPDATED: 4 arrested; drugs, guns seized; 10 kids in protective custody

Cash also confiscated from two Castaic homes

Posted: November 20, 2009 4:21 p.m.
Updated: November 20, 2009 11:37 p.m.
Four adults were behind bars and 10 children were in protective custody Friday after sheriff's deputies raided a pair of Castaic houses and seized weapons and drugs, authorities said.

Those arrested included: Midalia Hernandez, 19, of Castaic, on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine; Manuel Arciniega, 35, of Castaic, on suspicion of possessing a fake social security card; Rafael Arciniega, 46, on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine for sale; and James Sterns, 49, of Frazier Park, on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine for sale, officials said.

After several months of investigation, deputies served search warrants at the two homes in the 27500 block of Violin Canyon Drive and in the 31400 block of Arrow Point on Thursday afternoon.

They found three guns, a large amount of cash, several ounces of methamphetamine and 10 children ages six months to 17 years, according to a Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station report.

Officials took the children into protective custody and released them to the Department of Children and Family Services for investigation and placement, the report said.

Deputies started investigating one of the residences several months ago after receiving an anonymous tip.

A community member told officials a high number of guests would arrive at the home and only stay for a few minutes for what appeared to be drug sales, the report said.

Detectives later linked the second home to the investigation.

"This is another example of how the community and law enforcement can partner together to prevent crime in neighborhoods," said Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. Brenda Cambra.

Hernandez is being held in lieu of $10,000 bail, and Manuel Arciniega in lieu of $20,000 bail, according to the report.

Rafael Arciniega and Sterns are both being held in lieu of $30,000 bail.

Deputies are still investigating the case, the report said.


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