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2 Warners workers held in drug probe

Jacobo, Martinez operated independently on lot

Two Warner Bros. studio employees have been arrested ondrug trafficking charges after a joint investigation by the Burbank Police Dept.’s vice/narcotics squad and the studio’s own security office.

While the town buzzed with speculation as to who their customers were, only the alleged dealers’ identities were disclosed on Tuesday: Ricardo Perez Jacobo, 46, of Los Angeles, and Wilman Martinez, 33, of South Gate. They were both arrested Jan. 7 on felony charges of possession and transportation for sale of cocaine and marijuana.

Martinez has since made bail, posting a $60,000 bond, while Jacobo is still being held at North County Correction Facility in Saugus after failing to post a $160,000 bond.

When arrested on the Warner’s lot, Jacobo had in his possession an eighth of an ounce of cocaine, and a subsequent search of his residence turned up another eighth, police said.

Sgt. William Berry, a spokesman for the Burbank Police Dept., said the investigation was “ongoing” and declined to say if arrests were part of an undercover operation — but did add wryly, “I doubt they bought the drugs wearing police uniforms.”

Thor Merich, the lead narcotics investigator on the case for the Burbank police said the studio had informed the police of the drug trafficking in late October.

He added that Jacobo and Martinez, while aware of each other’s activity on the lot, operated independently, delivering roughly $400 worth of cocaine and marijuana per week to at least 30 Warner Bros. employees on the lot.

Martinez worked at a newsstand near the studio commissary, while Jacobo worked in the Warner Bros. facilities department, according to Merich.

Frank O’Donnell, Warner Bros.’ VP of studio protection, said both men were employees of the studio for at least five years. O’Donnell added that he was unsure if either of the men had been terminated by the studio.

A spokeswoman for the studio declined to comment on the suspects’ employment status, citing a policy of not discussing pending legal matters.

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