Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

At approximately 12:45 a.m., deputies responded to a call of a stabbing in the 100 block of Holt Street in the unincorporated area of Ventura. A fight between two male subjects led to the victim being fatally stabbed. The victim, Devin Morris, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Major Crimes Detectives conducted numerous interviews and searches, ultimately leading to the identification and arrest of Howard Lovette for the homicide. Lovette was booked into the Pre-Trial Detention Facility with a bail of $500,000.00.

Anyone with information about the investigation is encouraged to call Major Crimes, Detective John Gleason at (805) 384-4727.

Nature of Incident: Murder
Report Number: RB# 14-16690
Location: 100 Block of Holt Street (Ventura Unincorporated)
Date & Time: July 23, 2014 @ approximately 12:45 a.m.
Unit(s) Responsible: Patrol / Major Crimes
Prepared by: Sergeant Denise Sliva
Media Release Date: July 23, 2014
Follow-Up Contact: Sergeant John Gleason, (805) 384-4727
John.Gleason@ventura.org
Approved by: Commander Brent Kerr

Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous. The call is not recorded. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

 


 
Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

On July 19, 2014, deputies from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office conducted compliance checks at the residences of forty registered sex offenders in the communities of Saticoy, El Rio, Nyeland Acres, Hollywood Beach, Silver Strand Beach and the Rincon. The compliance checks were part of the Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE) grant.

Thirty five of the forty registered sex offenders were in compliance with their registration requirement. Five of the registrants were not contacted because they were not home or had moved. Sheriff’s detectives will follow-up to determine if the registrants are out-of-compliance.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office will be conducting similar sweeps throughout the county. The purpose is to verify registered sex offenders are living at their reported residences and in compliance with any probation or parole terms.

Residents of Ventura County can visit the Megan’s Law website (www.meganslaw.ca.gov) to familiarize themselves with the sex registrants in their community.

Nature of Incident: Sex Registrant Compliance Checks
Report Number: N/A
Location: Unincorporated Areas of Ventura and Oxnard

Date & Time: July 19, 2014
Units Responsible: Ventura County Sheriff’s Office
Ventura County Probation Department
Deputy Preparing Media Release: Sergeant Anthony Aguirre
Media Release Date: July 22, 2013
Follow-Up Contact: Investigator Jim Botting / 805-384-4743
Jim.botting@ventura.org
Approved by: Captain Patti Salas

Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against person(s) responsible for crimes within our community. The caller may remain anonymous. The call is not recorded. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

 


 
Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

On May 12, 2014, a 22 year old male Camarillo resident was physically attacked and forced out of his girlfriend’s Camarillo residence by two suspects. The suspects proceeded to violently force the victim into an awaiting vehicle driven by a third suspect. The victim was then driven to a secluded parking lot where he was severely beaten by the suspects. The victim sustained a fractured jaw and multiple contusions during the attack. Investigators identified the suspects as Jess Chambers, Sean Hendricks, and Eric Dean. As the investigation progressed, numerous witnesses were interviewed, search warrants were served, and numerous items of evidentiary value were collected over the course of several weeks.

Investigators arrested Jess Chambers, Sean Hendricks, and Eric Dean for 207 PC - kidnapping and 243(d) PC – Battery causing serious bodily injury. All three suspects have been booked at the Ventura County Pre-Trial Detention Facility.

Nature of Incident: Arrests for Kidnapping and Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury
Report Number: 14-10939
Location: 300 Block of Westpark Ct., Camarillo, Ca.
Date & Time: May 12, 2014 @ 1900 hours
Unit(s) Responsible: Special Services, Major Crimes Bureau
Prepared by: Sergeant John J. Gleason
Media Release Date: 07/17/2014
Follow-Up Contact: Sergeant John J. Gleason
(805) 384-4727

Approved by: Captain R. Watkins
Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous. The call is not recorded. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

 

Click here for Attractions Spa website


 

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Attorney General Kamala D. Harris will convene state and federal officials from the U.S., Mexico and El Salvador for a multinational summit focused on the use of technology to fight transnational organized crime. The summit, held in association with the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG), will focus on human trafficking, intellectual property violations and money laundering.

“Transnational criminal organizations are increasingly using sophisticated networks and technology to commit crimes against the people of California, the United States, and globally,” Attorney General Harris said. “This summit will build on the partnership we forged in Mexico City this March to combat the increased use of social media in human trafficking and disrupt money laundering schemes in the U.S.-Mexico border region. I want to thank my colleagues and international partners for joining me to address this serious issue.”

Attendees at the summit, the 2014 CWAG Alliance Partnership Binational State Attorney General Exchange, include U.S. state attorneys general, U.S. federal officials, Mexico Attorney General JesĂşs Murillo Karam, El Salvador Attorney General Luis Martinez, and Mexico state attorneys general.

The summit follows a U.S. delegation visit led by Attorney General Harris to Mexico City in March to strengthened relationships between government officials in both countries and enhanced efforts to combat transnational crime. During the visit, the bipartisan delegation met with Mexico Attorney General Murillo Karam to discuss shared priorities in the fight against transnational crime.

The delegation, which included the state attorneys general from Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and New Mexico, also with Mexican state attorneys general from Sonora, Baja California, Chihuahua, Campeche, Distrito Federal, Zacatecas and Jalisco. The delegation also signed a letter of intent with the National Banking and Securities Commission of Mexico to establish a binational working group on money laundering enforcement. (https://oag.ca.gov/news/press-releases/attorney-general-kamala-d-harris-...)

Prior to leading CONTINUED »

 


 

LOS ANGELES, CA – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, along with the U.S. Department of Justice and state partners, today announced a settlement with Citigroup Inc. to resolve federal and state civil claims related to Citigroup’s conduct in the packaging, securitization, marketing, sale, and issuance of residential mortgage-backed securities prior to January 1, 2009.

Nationally, the settlement totals $7 billion. California will recover $102,700,000 in damages, which will reimburse the state’s pension funds, CalPERS and CalSTRS, for losses on investments in mortgage-backed securities of Citigroup and its affiliates. California is also guaranteed at least $90 million in consumer relief.

“Citigroup misled consumers and profited by providing California’s pension funds with incomplete information about mortgage investments,” Attorney General Harris said. “This settlement holds Citi accountable and compensates the state’s pension funds that protect the retirement savings of hardworking Californians.”

As part of the settlement, Citigroup acknowledged it made serious misrepresentations to the public, including investors, about the mortgage loans it securitized in residential mortgage-backed securities. The resolution also requires Citigroup to provide relief to underwater homeowners, distressed borrowers, and affected communities through a variety of means including financing affordable rental housing developments for low-income families in high-cost areas. The settlement does not absolve Citigroup or its employees from facing any possible criminal charges.

An investigation conducted CONTINUED »

 
Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

In the early morning hours of July 7, 2014, patrol deputies were dispatched to a stabbing that had just occurred in the 800 block of Warwick Avenue in the City of Thousand Oaks. When deputies arrived they found the victim, Jose Barragan, lying on the ground with several bystanders trying to treat his injuries. Ventura County Fire and American Medical Response arrived shortly after the patrol deputies and began treating Barragan. Barragan was transported to the Los Robles Hospital for his injuries. While at the hospital it was discovered that Barragan had multiple stab wounds to his upper torso and neck. Barragan was treated for his injuries and placed into the Intensive Care Unit.

The reporting parties to the incident advised dispatch that the suspects had left the area in a vehicle driving toward Wilbur Road. Patrol deputies responding to the scene observed and stopped the vehicle nearby. The driver of the vehicle was Brianna Ayala, the front passenger was Jonathan Alinei, and the rear passenger was Hector Martinez.

The investigation revealed this was a gang related attack. The victim, Jose Barragan, is a documented member of a criminal street gang in the City of Thousand Oaks, and the suspects are documented members of a rival criminal street gang in the City of Thousand Oaks.
Through their investigation, Detectives identified Brandon Navarro as another suspect in the gang related attack. Brandon Navarro is also a documented member of the rival criminal street gang in the City of Thousand Oaks.

On July 8, 2014, Detectives with the Special Enforcement / Gang Unit conducted surveillance in the City of Glendale and took Navarro into custody without incident.

All four suspects were booked into the Ventura County Pre-Trial Detention Facility for Penal Code sections 664/187 – Attempted Murder, 186.22(a) – Street Terrorism Act, and 182(a)(1) – Conspiracy with bail amounts ranging from $500,000 to $1,000,000.

Jonathan Alinei, Hector Martinez, and Brianna Ayala are scheduled to appear in Ventura County Superior Court today July 9, 2014, at 1:30 PM. Since Brandon Navarro was arrested a day later he is scheduled to appear in Ventura County Superior Court on July 10, 2014 at 1:30 PM.

Nature of Incident: Gang Related Attempted Murder, Stabbing
Report Number: RB# 14-15358
Location: 800 Block of Warwick Ave. City of Thousand Oaks
Date & Time: 7/7/2014 @ 3:00 AM
Unit Responsible: City of Thousand Oaks Police - Special Enforcement / Gang Unit, Investigations Bureau
Prepared by: Sergeant Dan Hawes
Media Release Date: July 9, 2014
Follow-Up Contact: Detective James Sullivan (805) 797-7143
james.sullivan@ventura.org
Approved by: Captain Mike Hartmann

Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous. The call is not recorded. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

 
Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office is very pleased to announce that we have collected 2,830.3 pounds of unused / expired medication through the first six months of 2014. During 2013, we collected a total of 5,288.2 pounds of unused medication, so we are currently on pace for another record setting year.

A breakdown of this year’s collection for the first half of the year is as follows: Ojai station – 106 pounds, Fillmore station - 16.1 pounds, Camarillo station – 1,196 pounds, Moorpark station – 158.2 pounds, Headquarters station – 178 pounds, and Thousand Oaks station, 1,176 pounds.

A breakdown of the 2013 collection totals is as follows: Ojai station – 143 pounds, Fillmore station – 93.9 pounds, Camarillo station – 2,197 pounds, Moorpark station – 249.3 pounds, Headquarters station – 257 pounds, and Thousand Oaks station, 2,348 pounds. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the citizens of Ventura County, for their outstanding effort to make our communities safer.

The non-medical use of prescription drugs ranks second only to marijuana as the most common form of drug abuse in the United States. Additionally, the majority of teenagers abusing prescription drugs get them from family, friends and the home medicine cabinet. Unused drugs that are flushed contaminate the water supply.

If you want to drop off unused / expired medications at any Sheriff’s Substation, we have Pharmaceutical drop-off bins in all of our lobbies. The lobbies are open Monday-Friday from 8:00AM - 5:00PM.

Nature of Incident: Pharmaceutical Collections for the first half of 2014
Report Number:
Location: All Sheriff’s Substations
Date & Time: 07/07/14 @ 09:00 AM
Unit(s) Responsible: Ventura County Sheriff’s Office
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent City of Residence Age
Prepared by: Sgt. John M. Franchi #2549
Media Release Date: 07/03/2014
Follow-Up Contact: John.Franchi@ventura.org / 805-388-5135
Approved by: Captain Eric Dowd

Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous. The call is not recorded. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

 
Adam Esquivel, Camarillo, 38
Adam Esquivel, Camarillo, 38

On June 25, 2014, Investigators with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Bureau arrested Adam Esquivel for committing a lewd act with a child under 10 years old. Esquivel had inappropriately touched a 3-year-old victim while the victim was at Esquivel’s residence. Esquivel is a member of the United States Navy. Esquivel is currently in custody at the Ventura County Pre-Trial Detention Facility on $250,000.00 bail. He will be arraigned in Ventura County Superior Court on June 27, 2014.

Due to the seriousness of the crime, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office would like to know if Esquivel may have assaulted other victims. Anyone with information that may help in identifying witnesses or other potential victims is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau, Detective Frances Saleh at 805-384-4729.

Nature of Incident: Suspect Arrested for Committing Lewd Acts with a Child
Report Number: 14-13377
Location: 2000 Block of Herron Court, Camarillo
Date & Time: June 25, 2014 @ 1540
Unit(s) Responsible: Ventura County Sheriff’s Office – Major Crimes Bureau
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent City of Residence Age
(S) Adam Esquivel, Camarillo, 38
(V) Female Juvenile, Camarillo, 3
Prepared by: Sgt. Anthony Aguirre
Media Release Date: June 26, 2014
Follow-Up Contact: Sgt. Anthony Aguirre 805-384-4721
Anthony.aguirre@ventura.org
Approved by: Captain Chris Dunn

Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous. The call is not recorded. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

 
Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

Major Crimes detectives and Jail personnel are investigating a Pre-Trial Detention Facility inmate death that occurred at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura.

On June 27, 2014, the Oxnard Police Department arrested Juan Zavala for resisting arrest, resisting an executive officer and escape from arrest. Oxnard Police transported Zavala to the Ventura County Medical Center where he was treated and cleared for booking by hospital staff. At 10:14 PM, Oxnard Police booked Zavala at the Pre-Trial Detention Facility for the listed charges.

During the booking process, Zavala attempted to kick a deputy and was placed in a cell for his safety and constant monitoring. Zavala displayed bizarre behavior and signs of being under the influence of drugs.

At approximately 2:45 AM, just 4 ½ hours from the time Zavala was brought into the jail, medical staff and jail personnel came to the aid of Inmate Zavala who was in distress in his cell. Staff provided emergency medical aid while additional resources were summoned. Ventura City Fire personnel and paramedics arrived and Zavala was transported to Community Memorial Hospital by ambulance. Zavala was treated by hospital staff and later pronounced dead at about 2:00 PM.

The cause of death is under investigation by the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit, pending an autopsy by the Medical Examiner.

Nature of Incident: Inmate Death
Report Number: 14-14655
Location: Pre-Trial Detention Facility / Community Memorial Hospital
Date & Time: June 28, 2014 / 0245 hours
Unit(s) Responsible: Major Crimes Unit and Detention Services Legal Unit
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent City of Residence Age
Juan Zavala (D) Oxnard 32
Prepared by: Sgt. Dave Lareva
Media Release Date: June 29, 2014
Follow-Up Contact: Sgt. Tony Aguirre (805) 384-4721
Approved by: Commander Rick Barrios

 
Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

On June 27, 2014, the Camarillo Police Department’s Community Resource Unit conducted a tobacco sting, using underage minor decoys, in an attempt to purchase tobacco products from various retail establishments in the City of Camarillo. The goal of this operation was to limit minors’ access to tobacco products and confirm retail establishments are abiding by the City Municipal Code and California Penal Code.

Four underage decoys were used in an attempt to purchase tobacco from 10 locations throughout the City of Camarillo. The Camarillo Police Department is very pleased to announce that no retail establishments sold tobacco products to the minor decoys. During the decoy operation, deputies did spot two subjects drinking alcohol inside a parked vehicle unrelated to the sting, and cited those individuals for the alcohol violations.

The Camarillo Community Resource Unit will continue to conduct periodic sting operations in an effort to prevent minors’ access to tobacco products.

Nature of Incident: Tobacco Decoy Sting Operation
Location: Various Retail Locations - City of Camarillo
Date & Time: June 27, 2014
Unit(s) Responsible: Camarillo Police Department’s Community Resource Unit
Prepared by: Sergeant John Franchi #2549
Media Release Date: June 27, 2014
Follow-Up Contact: Sergeant John Franchi (805) 388-5135
Approved by: Captain Eric Dowd

Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous. The call is not recorded. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

 
Santa Paula Police Department
Santa Paula Police Department

On 06/24/2014 at 1354 hours, the Santa Paula Police Department was contacted by the mother of a 6-year-old female reporting that the child was possibly a victim of a sexual assault. An immediate investigation revealed that the suspect, 49-year-old Jose Francisco Romero of Santa Paula, was a friend of the family for approximately five years. Romero was staying with the victim’s relative temporarily while he attempted to secure more permanent housing arrangements. During the afternoon of 06/23/2014, Romero asked the 6-year-old female to come in to his room so he could show her some pictures. When the victim entered his room, Romero asked the victim to sit on his lap. He showed the victim photos of a sexual organ on his phone. While showing her the pictures, he used his other hand to touch the victim's private area. Preliminary interviews of the involved parties indicate Romero touched the victim under her clothing, making direct contact with her skin. Romero was taken in to custody today at his place of employment and booked at Ventura County Jail for 288(a) PC, lewd acts with a child under 14 years-of-age and 288.2(a)(2) PC, exposing a child to lewd harmful materials.

Nature of Incident: Lewd Acts Upon a Child Under 14 Y/O
Report Number(s): SG1401072
Location(s): Santa Paula
Dates & Times: June 23, 2014 (Afternoon)
Unit Responsible: Patrol
(S)uspects, (V)ictims City of Residence Age
(S) Jose Francisco Romero, Santa Paula, 49
(V) Female, Santa Paula, 6
Officer Preparing Press Release: Sgt. Jeremy Watson #1025
Press Release Date: June 25, 2014
Follow-Up Contact: Officer S. Norwood #1098
Approved by: Commander Ismael Cordero #1038

 

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today issued an information bulletin to California law enforcement agencies that provides updated information on their responsibilities and potential liability for complying with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) federal detainer requests for undocumented immigrants.
The updated bulletin informs state and local law enforcement agencies of new requirements they face since enactment of the Transparency and Responsibility Using State Tool Act (TRUST Act) and new federal case law that creates legal risk for local law enforcement agencies that voluntarily comply with federal detainer requests.

“When local law enforcement officials are seen as de facto immigration enforcers, it erodes the trust between our peace officers and the communities they serve,” Attorney General Harris said. “Federal immigration detainers are voluntary and this bulletin supports the TRUST Act and law enforcement leaders’ discretion to utilize resources in the manner that best serves their communities.”

In December 2012, Attorney General Harris issued an information bulleting titled, “Responsibility of Local Law Enforcement Agencies under Secure Communities”, which clarified that federal immigration detainers issued under the Secure Communities program are not mandatory, but are merely requests enforceable at the discretion of the state and local agency. Since enactment of the TRUST Act and issuance of new federal case law, law enforcement agencies face additional limits in their discretion and possible liability when complying with federal immigration holds. Attorney General Harris issued the updated bulletin to clarify the factors that local law enforcement agencies should consider when they receive detainer requests.

The TRUST Act requires that continued detention under Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agency detainers must meet conditions laid out in state law. First, continued detention by state and local law enforcement agencies must “not violate any federal, state, or local law, or any local policy,” and second, the detainee’s criminal history must include serious or violent crimes, federal charges, or inclusion in the California Sex and Arson Registry among other conviction criteria. Only if both of these conditions are met, then local law enforcement may continue to detain the individual.

Additionally, the bulletin confirms that ICE immigration detainer requests are not mandatory as stated by recent court rulings and correspondence from ICE’s Acting Director.

The information bulletin also informs state and local law enforcement agencies of potential legal liabilities that they may face when voluntarily complying with federal detainer requests. Citing a recent federal district court ruling in the District of Oregon in Miranda-Olivares v. Clackamas Co., the bulletin informs California law enforcement agencies “that because compliance with an ICE detainer is voluntary, a local agency could violate the Fourth Amendment by detaining an individual solely based on the request of ICE, without some other probable cause for arrest.” The bulletin notes that if a California court adopts the reasoning of the district court in Miranda-Olivares, local jurisdictions could be held liable for damages for such an unlawful detention.

The bulletin also clarifies that the TRUST Act and new federal case law only address discretion to detain individuals and not a law enforcement agency’s discretion to otherwise cooperate with federal immigration officials.

To view Attorney General Harris’s information bulletin click here: http://bit.ly/1lcDrz9

 
Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

On 06/23/14, Alex Rios was arrested for Child Annoyance of a 15 year old female. On 06/18/14, at approximately 8:15AM, Rios contacted the juvenile subject while she walked in the Callegus Creek area of Camarillo. Rios made comments, which were sexual in nature and he offered the victim narcotics. The victim told Rios that she was only 15 years old several times, however Rios was not deterred. Rios also asked the victim to leave the area with him in his car. The female alerted friends to the incident who then met her in the area and got her to safety.

Investigators immediately followed up on the report. Rios was identified as the suspect, and interviews were conducted. At the conclusion of the investigation, Rios was arrested for Child Annoyance and he was booked at the Ventura County Pre-Trial Detention Facility in Ventura. His bail was set at $5,000.00.

Anyone who believes they have been contacted by this suspect or has information regarding this incident is encouraged to call Detective TJ DeSalvo at (805) 388-5157.

Nature of Incident: Child Annoyance Arrest
Report Number: 14-13931
Location: 3000 block of Almendro Way
Date & Time: 06/23/14 at approximately 3:00PM
Unit(s) Responsible: Camarillo Patrol & Investigations Bureau
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent City of Residence Age
A- Alex Rios Camarillo 35
Prepared by: Detective TJ DeSalvo
Media Release Date: 06/24/14
Follow-Up Contact: Detective TJ DeSalvo (805) 388-5157, tj.desalvo@ventura.org
Approved by: Captain Dowd

 

SAN FRANCISCO -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch today announced that defendant Aldo Joseph Baccala, who ran a Ponzi scheme that defrauded victims more than $17 million, was sentenced to 20 years in state prison and ordered to pay a fine of $6.4 million at a hearing today in Sonoma County.

“This fraudulent investment scheme cheated dozens of elderly investors out of millions of their hard-earned dollars,” Attorney General Harris said. “The dedicated investigators in our Financial Fraud Section, along with our local partners, will continue to protect California’s investors and consumers by bringing perpetrators like him to justice.”

“Along with the Attorney General’s Office, our office expended incredible resources in order to bring this scam artist to justice,” District Attorney Jill Ravitch said. “The scale and scope of this man’s fraud on unsuspecting investors is staggering. That so many of his victims lost their livelihoods, their homes and their retirement savings, to this man’s scheming and greed is beyond tragic. This was not just a fraud he perpetrated, but a crime against their futures and the emotional toll is incalculable. Thus, we believed his loss of liberty should be in proportion to their loss.”

Baccala was arrested in June of 2012 and charged with grand theft, securities fraud and elder abuse. On March 12 of this year, Baccala entered no contest pleas to 140 counts and admitted to excessive taking and white collar enhancements. The case was jointly prosecuted by both the Attorney General’s Financial Fraud and Special Prosecutions Section and the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office.

Baccala used his Petaluma-based company, Baccala Realty, Inc., to solicit funds from victims, urging them to invest in ventures in California and other states, such as assisted living facilities, a car wash and other businesses with a promise of a return of monthly payments at an annual rate of 12 percent. He issued promissory notes stating the investments were either secured with real property or were designated for a particular use.
Many victims of the Ponzi scheme were elderly and had known Baccala and his family for many years.

Though he solicited investments in more than 100 notes between 2004 and 2008, Baccala did not own the facilities and his company could not provide any kind of return for those who purchased the promissory notes. Instead, Baccala used the solicited money for his own personal, unsuccessful stock market bets. His company eventually lost over $7 million and, when it collapsed, it had almost $17 million in promissory notes outstanding.
Consumers should exercise caution with investments that seem too good to be true and contain promises that cannot be verified or authenticated. Consumers may report suspected fraud or elder abuse to the Attorney General’s Office here: https://oag.ca.gov/bmfea/reporting

 
Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

On June 15, 2014, shortly after 9:30 am, Peter O’Neill was driving his full size Chevrolet pickup truck through the private roadway of Olivewood Drive. It is believed O’Neill suffered a medical episode; rendering him unconscious. Immediately thereafter, O’Neill’s vehicle left the main traveled portion of the roadway and drove up a sloping hillside within the condominium complex. The front of the vehicle then collided with a large tree. A witness reported the collision by calling 911 and Deputy Kristopher Doepking responded to the scene Code-3 (lights and sirens activated).

Upon Deputy Doepking’s arrival, he found O’Neill unconscious and slumped over in the vehicle’s passenger seat with the engine still running. Concerned with being able to care for O’Neill with the pickup truck positioned on the unsteady hillside, Deputy Doepking gained entry to the vehicle and pulled O’Neill to safety. Once O’Neill was removed from the vehicle, Deputy Doepking immediately evaluated his vital signs and determined O’Neill was unconscious, not breathing and had a very faint pulse.

Deputy Doepking performed emergency rescue breaths for O’Neill and, in doing so, discovered O’Neill had a significant airway obstruction. By repositioning O’Neill’s head and jaw, Deputy Doepking eliminated the airway obstruction and O’Neill started breathing, though his breathing was quite shallow and labored. O’Neill’s pulse began to improve and he started showing signs of life. Ventura County Fire and American Medical Response (AMR) personnel arrived on scene and relieved Deputy Doepking’s life saving efforts. O’Neill was transported to the Los Robles Emergency Room by AMR, where he is currently in the Intensive Care Unit listed in critical condition.

Ventura County Fire and AMR personnel praised Deputy Doepking for his quick actions explaining that had he not done what he did, O’Neill may very well have died at the scene.

Some may have the perception that law enforcement officers are only summoned to investigate and deal with individuals breaking the law, or when some form of a criminal complaint exists; that is simply not the case. Every sworn/uniformed patrol deputy with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office is trained in First Aid and CPR and they receive regular update training on the subject.

Many times when patrol deputies respond to calls for service, they are unaware until they arrive on scene that the issue might be a medical emergency; which is why they are equipped with rescue breathing masks and other Fist Aid equipment. It is then that they must take quick action and revert to their training. Conversely, there are many occasions wherein sheriff’s deputies are first to arrive on scene (before fire department personnel or paramedics) and they must use their medical training to render aid and potentially save a life, as is the case here.

It is equally important to point out that the quick actions of the witness immediately calling 911 after the collision helped to speed up the response time by Deputy Doepking.

Nature of Incident: Heroic Actions by Ventura County Sheriff’s Deputy
Report Number: 14-13669
Location: 2000 Block of Olivewood Drive / Private Roadway North of Avenida De Las Flores, Thousand Oaks
Date & Time: June 15, 2014
Unit Responsible: Thousand Oaks Police Department
Prepared by: Sergeant Dean Worthy #3149
Media Release Date: 6/20/2014
Follow-Up Contact: Captain Don Aguilar (805) 797-7349
don.aguilar@ventura.org
Approved by: Captain R. Ferguson

 
Santa Paula Police Department
Santa Paula Police Department
Jacob Escobedo, Santa-Paula, 26
Jacob Escobedo, Santa-Paula, 26

On June 14, 2014 at approximately 1219 hours, officers responded to a residence in the 300 block of N. 12th St. for a report of a wanted subject. The subject, Jacob Escobedo, had a felony PROS violation want for felony resisting arrest and child endangerment. Upon arrival several subjects exited an unattached garage and the residence. Those subjects were detained and later released. It was confirmed Escobedo was inside the residence however he stated he would not come out. Mutual aid was requested with the California Highway Patrol and Ventura County Sheriffs Dept. responding to assist. At the same time the SPPD Special Response Team responded as well. Upon their arrival the mutual aid units were relieved. After approximately 2 1/2 hours of negotiations Escobedo exited the residence and was taken into custody. Escobedo was charged with the following fresh charges: convicted felon in possession of ammunition, possession of a controlled substance, obstructing a police officer, and the felony warrant. Escobedo was later transported to Ventura County Main Jail and is being held with no bail.

The Santa Paula Police Department would like to thank the California Highway Patrol and the Ventura County Sheriffs Department for their assistance.

Nature of Incident: Barricaded Subject
Report Number(s): SG1401006
Location(s): 300 block of N. 12th Street
Dates & Times: June 14th, 2014 at 1219 hrs
Unit Responsible: Patrol
(S)uspects, (V)ictims City of Residence Age
(S) Escobedo, Jacob, Santa Paula, 26
Officer Preparing Press Release: Sgt. Cody Madison #1018
Press Release Date: June 14th, 2014
Follow-Up Contact: On-Duty Watch Commander
Approved by: Commander Ismael Cordero #1038

 

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the arrest of two women accused of operating a sex trafficking ring in San Francisco. The arrests are the result of a five-month joint investigation by the California Attorney General’s Office, the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

“The victims in these brothels were treated as commodities in an insidious human marketplace,” Attorney General Harris said. “Human trafficking is a heinous crime that destroys the lives of victims and threatens the safety of our communities. I want to recognize the steadfast commitment of our Task Force agents, law enforcement partners, and community organizations to bring perpetrators to justice and help rebuild these victims’ lives.”

“The interruption of this sex trafficking, under the leadership of the Attorney General Harris’s Office, is just another example of San Francisco’s commitment to protecting and preserving the basic rights of all; especially our most vulnerable,” SFPD Chief Greg Suhr said. “Fully understanding the gravity of the human trafficking trade, the San Francisco Police Department developed its own Human Trafficking Unit, partnering with other agencies to conduct proactive victim-centered investigations of sex and labor trafficking crimes.”

Defendants Qiao He, a.k.a. “Judy,” 37, and her sister Gaineng He, 36, both of San Francisco, were arrested today and charged with felony pimping and pandering. They are both being held at the San Francisco County Jail on $25,000 bail each and will be prosecuted by the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. The Attorney General’s Office is still investigating potential tax fraud and conspiracy violations.

In January 2014, the Tax Recovery and Criminal Enforcement (TRaCE) Task Force of the California Attorney General’s Office initiated an investigation of an alleged sex trafficking ring in San Francisco’s Richmond District operated by sisters Qiao He and Gaineng He.

Over a period of several months, TRaCE’s investigation revealed that “Johns” allegedly paid as much as $200 for sexual intercourse with their choice of one of several young Asian women in the brothels. During the investigation, the defendants repeatedly told undercover agents that “new girls” were brought in every Sunday.

On May 7, agents with the California Department of Justice, HSI and SFPD executed search warrants on four San Francisco locations, including 385 7th Avenue, 4719 Geary Boulevard #601, 2094 24th Avenue, and 1511 24th Avenue.

The joint investigation was led by the California Attorney General’s TRaCE Task Force, which includes representatives of the FBI, California Franchise Tax Board, California Board of Equalization, California Employment Development Department and the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. TRaCE is a statewide task force created in 2014 to combat organized elements of the underground economy engaged in the manufacturing, importation, distribution and sale of pirated intellectual property, and other economic crimes resulting from the evasion of business and income taxes.

In March of this year, Attorney General Harris released a report, Gangs Beyond Borders: California and the Fight Against Transnational Organized Crime, which is the first comprehensive report analyzing the current state of transnational criminal organizations in California (http://oag.ca.gov/transnational-organized-crime). In addition, the report made recommendations to address the issue of transnational crime and human trafficking in our state, which included funding the state task forces that investigate and disrupt these organizations.

Attorney General Harris has been a strong advocate for increased collaboration between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies during the investigation and prosecution of the crime of human trafficking.

In 2012, Attorney General Harris released a report, The State of Human Trafficking in California, which outlined the growing prevalence of the crime of human trafficking in the state (http://www.oag.ca.gov/human-trafficking/2012). The report describes the evolving challenges California faces in addressing this crime, which has become a $32 billion-a-year global industry.

Please note that these are only allegations and, as with all defendants, those named here must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 
Santa Paula Police Department
Santa Paula Police Department

On 3/11/14, Officers responded to 508 North 14th Street regarding a call of dogs fighting. The location had multiple adult dogs and puppies being housed together in kennels, make shift kennels, and tethered to a pole. Dogs that were allowed to roam free were fighting other dogs roaming the yard, and dogs in a kennel were actively mauling one dog through the kennel’s wire wall. Little to no food was found in the yard and the number of dogs exceeded the amount permitted by City Ordinance. All the dogs in the rear yard were either covered in blood or feces or both, including young puppies. Based on these facts, 17 dogs were seized pursuant to Penal Code sections, 597(f) A, 597t, SPO 91.13, and SPO 91.06. These 17 animals were transferred to the care of the Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center (S.P.A.R.C.).

On 04/09/14 a Post Seizure Hearing was conducted by SPCALA Lt. Cesar Perea. At the conclusion of the hearing, on 4/11/14, it was found that the seizure of the animals was justified to protect the health and safety of the animals.

On 05-23-2014 a warrant was issued for Silvano Duran's arrest for the above charges. On 05-30-2014 Silvano Duran was arraigned on the listed charges. As a result of the arraingment, the case was continued to 07-08-2014 for an "Early Disposition Conference."

Nature of Incident:
Animal Cruelty
Report Number(s):
SG1400401
Location(s):
508 N. 14th Street, Santa Paula
Dates & Times:
03-11-2014
Unit Responsible:
(S)uspects, (V)ictims
City of Residence
Age
Silvano Duran
Santa Paula
28
Officer Preparing Press Release:
Press Release Date:
06-04-2014
Follow-Up Contact:
Detective Mike Hoppin
Approved by:

 
Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

Beginning in February 2013, a series of 19 residential burglaries occurred in Ventura County, in which members of the Indian community were specifically targeted for losses totaling more than $1 million in cash, jewelry and gold.

The investigation into the break-ins revealed they were occurring in several other counties in California and Nevada. Investigators were able to identify, locate, and arrest members of this burglary crew who are affiliated with a Long Beach-based criminal street gang.

The Sheriff’s Office Crime Analysis Unit was able to utilize evidence and data from a variety of sources to identify and track down the suspects.

The group targeted members of the Indian community by searching the Internet for open-source information to identify families with common Indian surnames. Once identified, they would scout specific locations before breaking into the victims’ homes. The suspects used pre-paid mobile phones to call the victims’ residences prior to breaking in to ensure nobody was at home. The suspects also drove newer vehicles and dressed nicely to avoid raising suspicion among the victims’ neighbors.

Shortly after the burglaries began, detectives reached out to members of the Indian community in Ventura County to warn them of the emerging trend. As a result of that outreach, several burglaries resulted in little or no loss of valuable property because the potential victims had taken precautions to protect their property.

These cases involved investigators from numerous law enforcement agencies sharing information and working together to identify the suspects involved. Among the various law enforcement jurisdictions, more than 100 residential burglaries of this type took place in a one-year period. The group averaged two burglaries per week during that time period.

Five of the suspects have been arrested, while four additional suspects are being sought and have outstanding warrants for their arrests.

Since the arrests were made and warrants were issued, there have been no additional cases of this type within Ventura County.

Images of the suspects can be viewed through the following link: http://tinyurl.com/VCSOpressconference060414

Nature of Incident: Burglary Crew Stopped After Multi-State Crimes Net Millions
Report Number: 13-15852
Location: California and Nevada
Date & Time: February 2013 to present
Unit(s) Responsible: Ventura County Sheriff’s Office: Special Crimes Unit, Crime Analysis Unit, Special Enforcement Units
Ventura County District Attorney’s Office
Long Beach Police Department
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department – Major Crimes Bureau Burglary-Robbery Task Force
Prepared by: Sgt. Eric Buschow
Media Release Date: June 4, 2014
Follow-Up Contact: Sgt. Eric Buschow (805)947-8129
eric.buschow @ventura.org
Capt. Don Aguilar (805)797-7349
don.aguilar@ventura.org
Approved by: Commander Brent Kerr

 
Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

Law enforcement officers throughout the state carry the torch through communities to support Special Olympics athletes. The Special Olympics torch will be passed to Ventura County law enforcement on June 5th. Deputies from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office will carry the torch in the northern leg of the Southern California region Torch Run to the Los Angeles County line.

Every year Sheriff’s Deputies, professional staff, and volunteers participate in this run to support sports programs for Special Olympics athletes. Runners include police recruits from the Ventura County Criminal Justice Training Center. Participants will carry the torch along the northern leg route. The northern leg starts in San Luis Obispo County and travels south through Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Los Angeles counties.

More than 4,000 officers and athletes proudly run 1,500 miles through 200 communities with the torch to raise awareness and funds for Special Olympics Southern California. For more information about the Torch Run “Flame of Hope” lighting the way during the final leg, visit www.sosc.org/finalleg.

Members of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office also participate annually in Tip-A-Cop events throughout Ventura County to raise money to support Special Olympics.

Nature of Incident: Sheriff’s Deputies Run with Special Olympics Athletes in Law Enforcement Torch Run on June 5th
Location: Sycamore Cove State Beach – 9000 W. Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu
Date & Time: June 5th, 2014 @ 1:30 p.m.
Unit(s) Responsible: Sheriff’s Administration
Prepared by: Captain Don Aguilar
Media Release Date: June 3, 2014
Follow-Up Contact: Captain Don Aguilar (805) 797-7349
Approved by: Captain Mark Franke