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September 25, 2023

Man arrested for drug possession and sales, including to minors

APTOS—A man was arrested Thursday in the Safeway parking lot in Aptos after he allegedly provided illegal drugs to a minor.

When Special Enforcement Detectives with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office contacted Benjamin Reynolds, he was in possession of numerous baggies of cocaine, marijuana, and psilocybin mushrooms, all of which were packaged for sale. Detectives say he also had 54 counterfeit pills he originally thought were Adderall, but later said were fentanyl based on the effects when he took it. 

Reynolds was arrested for multiple felony charges after he admitted to selling narcotics to both adults and minors, but said he doesn’t like to sell to anyone under 17. 

“This is an example of how unsafe illegal narcotics — things may be far from what they appear,” The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post. “Parents, please be vigilant in warning your children about the dangers of illegal drugs. We need to work together as a community to educate and protect our youth.”

Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


  1. Lots of missing details in this story. Hope there is a follow-up. I’d be interested in knowing:
    – Who is Benjamin Reynolds and what is his criminal history? Seems unlikely a rookie pusher had that much “stuff” when police “contacted him”.
    – How and where did police make contact? Was it at the Safeway or did they know Benjamin Reynolds from past experience or witness or video footage?
    – Where were all of the drugs found? On his possession? In his vehicle? At his residence?
    – Where did Benjamin Reynolds live? Is he a resident of Aptos or does he come here to sell to “rich kids”?
    – Benjamin Reynolds was charged with Felony, but was a bail set? did he post bail? Is he in prison pending legal proceedings or is he “out” waiting for trial?
    – Is there a photo of Benjamin Reynolds so we (the general public) can recognize the drug dealer if we see him out on bail at another shopping area – or loitering near a school!
    ….just a few questions for a good follow-up story…


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