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Fillmore Soccer Coach Arrested in Drug Case

Times Staff Writer

The 27-year-old coach of the girls’ soccer team at Fillmore High School has been arrested on suspicion of selling methamphetamine throughout the Santa Clara Valley, law enforcement officials said Thursday.

Jose Ismael Nolasco was jailed in lieu of $250,000 bail Wednesday after detectives observed him conducting a drug sale at a shopping center near his Santa Paula home, authorities said.

About $500 worth of methamphetamine was found in his pocket, they said.

None of the drug sales appear to have involved students or faculty at the Central Avenue campus, though more interviews could be conducted, authorities said.

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“We’re trying to track down all his business dealings,” Ventura County sheriff’s spokesman Eric Nishimoto said. More arrests were possible, authorities said.

Detectives began their investigation of Nolasco several weeks ago after receiving a tip from an unidentified source. Undercover detectives saw Nolasco sell drugs several times in Fillmore and Santa Paula, authorities said.

Officials searched Nolasco’s house after his arrest and found it extremely unkempt and unsafe, authorities said. City inspectors declared several rooms that were being rented out as one-room apartments uninhabitable and asked residents to leave.

“Electrical wires and cords were exposed and posed a potential risk of electrical shock to children living at the house,” according to a written statement from Sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Leslie.

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Law enforcement officials did not know where the displaced residents had gone.

Wednesday, after being notified of Nolasco’s arrest, the school district placed him on unpaid administrative leave. District personnel director Dave Aponik said that Nolasco would be fired when formal criminal charges were filed, which was expected to occur by today.

“He is what is referred to as a walk-on employee and these are at-will employees who can be released at any time without cause,” Aponik said.

Nolasco was hired last September after the previous girls’ soccer coach took over the boys’ team, Aponik said. Nolasco was fingerprinted, a standard district policy, before starting the job and a law enforcement check revealed no adverse information, Aponik said.

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The Fillmore girls’ team will be coached for the one week remaining in the season by the high school’s junior varsity soccer coach.


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