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San Luis Obispo County Deputies have arrested wanted felon Julian Joy Ackerman on two felony counts and one misdemeanor charge. Deputies found Ackerman with a large amount of fentanyl after he and a female accomplice attempted to evade officers in Nipomo. 

According to a news release, members of the Sheriff’s Gang Task Force had been tracking 31-year-old Ackerman, who was suspected of driving into San Luis Obispo County with a large amount of narcotics, since early April 2022. 

At about 10:30 p.m. on April 22, deputies spotted a vehicle carrying Ackerman and 20-year-old driver Zoe Rutledge. 

Deputies attempted to pull the vehicle over on northbound Highway 101 just south of the Tefft Street off ramp in Nipomo.

“As a Deputy questioned the occupants of the car, the car suddenly took off and exited the highway at Tefft Street,” San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Tony Cipolla said. 

Deputies quickly located and stopped the vehicle at E. Tefft Street and Beechnut Street in Nipomo and arrested Rutledge while Ackerman fled the scene on foot.

Ackerman was eventually spotted by members of the Sheriff’s Special Operations Unit in the front yard of a house before running into a field near East Branch Street in Nipomo. Authorities apprehended Ackerman at the scene. 

Detectives later found a backpack in the field that had previously been spotted in the vehicle. Inside the backpack was a kilogram – approximately 2.2 pounds – of fentanyl.

The fentanyl is estimated to be worth $25,000 or $125,000 if sold by the gram at $125 a gram. 

The Drug Enforcement Administration defines a lethal dose of fentanyl as two milligrams. One  kilo of pure Fentanyl contains approximately 500,000 lethal doses, deputies said. 

Ackerman was arrested for possession of a controlled substance for sale, transporting a controlled substance for sale and resisting a peace officer, while Rutledge was arrested for attempting to evade a peace officer in a reckless manner.

According to the Sheriff’s Office Website, both Ackerman and Rutledge currently remain in San Luis Obispo County Jail. Ackerman’s bail is set at $266,000, while Rutledge’s is set at $50,000.