Santa Clara police arrest man for fraud, find drug lab during arrest

Sep 28, 2022, 5:42 PM
Emergency lights...
(FILE PHOTO, Deseret News)
(FILE PHOTO, Deseret News)

SANTA CLARA, Utah — A man in Washington County, Utah is facing multiple felony charges after police found a “portable lab” during a fraud arrest Monday.

Santa Clara police originally were investigating Alejandro Castillo, 32, for stealing credit card information from a woman when they found drugs and drug paraphernalia in his apartment.

The woman victim and a male complainant contacted police on Sept. 20 about unauthorized credit card charges on their account; a $250 payment to Santa Clara Utilities, a $50 hookup fee to Santa Clara City, $10.67 towards a RING doorbell, $72.35 for gas, and two unknown $10.68 charges totaling to $393.70.

The victim told police she visited a friend at their apartment where Castillo was staying, and she thought he was a “little suspicious,” according to arrest documents.

“She left her purse inside the apartment while they went swimming and believes Castillo illegally accessed her wallet and stole her information,” according to arrest documents.

The victim told police she did not authorize the use of her credit card and would like to prosecute Castillo. Police contacted an employee from the Santa Clara City Utility department and learned that the victim’s friend was planning to move out and asked for the utilities to be turned off, according to arrest documents.

The Santa Clara City employee told police that Castillo filled out an application to turn on the utilities, but they couldn’t find his payment under his name. Castillo told the employee he used his “girlfriend’s” name and her card.

According to arrest documents, the female victim never had a relationship with Castillo and only met him when she visited her friend.

On Monday, police visited Castillo’s apartment to question and arrest him for the accusations. After being read his Miranda rights, Castillo denied all the accusations and told police that he never called the utility department.

Castillo was placed in handcuffs and searched by the arresting officer, who found a folded dollar bill with what appeared to be cocaine inside with a plastic straw in his pants, according to court documents.

During the arrest, Castillo said he felt a sudden pain in his upper left shoulder and was medically checked out to a local hospital, where they cleared him and was booked into Washington County’s Purgatory Correctional Facility.

According to documents, the property owner and two other tenants told police they found six containers with marijuana in a closet outside of Castillo’s room. After obtaining a search warrant, police found four 27-gallon-sized boxes full of marijuana that were processed for use.

Officers also found a 54-quart-container with “a large number of visible mushrooms growing inside,” documents state. “The base had plant material/mulch consistent with the growing and fertilizing of psychedelic mushrooms.”

Police noted the setup was consistent with how mushrooms are grown and manufactured in a “portable lab-type setting.”

Castillo is facing five counts of unlawful use of a financial transaction card, five counts of theft, three counts of possession of a controlled substance, two counts of use or possession of drug paraphernalia, two counts of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, and a felony count of operation of a clandestine laboratory.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


Gate to the Duke Energy West End substation in Moore County, North Carolina, on Dec. 4, 2022. (John...
Nicole Grether, Gloria Pazmino and Tina Burnside, CNN

Gunfire at power substation cause North Carolina outages

Two power substations in a North Carolina county were damaged by gunfire in what is being investigated as a criminal act.
19 hours ago
Three men are facing federal charges for allegedly robbing a postal carrier at gunpoint and taking ...
Brooke Williams

Man arrested after lengthy search, one still wanted

A 22-year-old man was arrested early Sunday after fleeing from a traffic stop.
19 hours ago
Pat Reavy,

Price man arrested in woman’s 2019 death now being called a murder

A Price man has been arrested for investigation of murder in connection with the shooting death of a woman in 2019 in Carbon County that was once considered an accidental shooting.
2 days ago
Tanner Lynn Horner, 31, a driver working for FedEx was arrested and charged in the kidnapping and k...
Tina Burnside, CNN

Texas FedEx driver is arrested in the kidnapping and killing of a 7-year-old girl

A driver working for FedEx was arrested and charged Friday in the kidnapping and killing of a 7-year-old girl who had disappeared from her home's driveway in Texas earlier this week, police said.
2 days ago
FILE (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for UNITAS)...
Pat Reavy,

Southern Utah man accused of abusing girls at residential treatment program

A St. George man employed at a residential treatment program for troubled girls was arrest Thursday for investigation of sexually abusing two of the girls.
2 days ago
A bullet hole is seen in the glass window and the blinds....
Andrew Adams

Neighborhood concerned after bullet goes through home walls

A gunshot through an upstairs window in Saratoga Springs was concerning to more than just one family Friday as others in the Hawks Landing and Fox Hollow neighborhoods said this had happened before and were asking for help so it didn’t happen again.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Santa Clara police arrest man for fraud, find drug lab during arrest