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

Thousand Oaks Police Department detectives are investigating a shooting that occurred inside the Hyatt Westlake Plaza hotel early Thursday morning. There were no injuries. No suspects have been arrested.

On March 27 at about 2:30 a.m., the Sheriff’s Communication Center received several 9-1-1 calls from the hotel reporting shots being fired. Thousand Oaks patrol deputies quickly arrived at the scene and established a perimeter. Due to the nature of the call and occupancy at the location, additional resources and specialized units also responded.

Deputies restricted public access into the hotel while the investigation continued and a search of the building was conducted. At the end of the search, it was determined suspect(s) were no longer at the hotel and there was no threat or danger to employees and hotel guests.

The investigation is continuing. Anyone with information about this incident is urged to call Detective Mike McConville at (805) 494-8219.

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).

Nature of Incident: Shooting Investigation at Hyatt Westlake Plaza Hotel
Report Number: 14-6837
Location: 880 S. Westlake Blvd. Thousand Oaks, CA 91361
Date & Time: 3/27/14 @ 2:30 a.m.
Unit Responsible: Thousand Oaks Police Department - Investigations
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent City of Residence Age
Unknown
Prepared by: Captain Don Aguilar
Media Release Date: March 27 , 2014
Follow-Up Contact: Sgt. Barbara Payton (805) 797-6438
Captain Don Aguilar (805) 797-7349
Approved by: Captain Bill Ayub

 


 

FRESNO, CA – Agents from a California Department of Justice task force joined with California Highway Patrol and federal investigators Thursday night to seize 176 pounds of crystal methamphetamine during the execution of a search warrant at a Madera home. The seizure is one of the largest methamphetamine caches uncovered in the Central Valley.

“Methamphetamine is a very serious threat to California’s public health and safety, and is frequently trafficked by transnational criminal organizations,” Attorney General Harris said. “This seizure highlights the importance of strong collaboration between the California Department of Justice and local, state and federal partners to dismantle these organizations and keep our communities safe.”

Thursday night’s seizure came just hours after Attorney General Harris issued the first comprehensive report analyzing the current state of transnational criminal organizations in California and the threats they pose to the state’s public safety and economy. The report estimates that Mexican organized crime groups smuggle an estimated 70 percent of the foreign-produced U.S. supply of methamphetamine through California’s border crossings. View the report here: https://oag.ca.gov/transnational-organized-crime.

Preliminary evidence indicates the methamphetamine in the residence was likely smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico in liquid form, then converted into its crystalized form at the Madera residence for subsequent distribution.

Agents discovered the methamphetamine, much of it in crystalized form, scattered throughout multiple rooms in the Madera residence. They also found a lab used to convert liquid methamphetamine into its crystalized form. While initial estimates place the value of the seized methamphetamine at approximately $750,000, authorities say it could exceed $1 million, pending final laboratory tests to determine its purity.

In addition to the drugs, investigators also seized other evidence at the scene, including $58,000 in cash. The residence was vacant at the time of the search and no arrests were made overnight. However, authorities emphasize the investigation is continuing.

The ongoing probe is being conducted by the Central Valley Marijuana Investigation Team (CVMIT) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with substantial assistance provided by the California Highway Patrol (CHP). Other agencies participating on the Central Valley High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Initiative (HIDTA) include the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; the Fresno Sheriffs Department, Madera and Tulare counties; the Fresno and Madera Police Departments; and the State of California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“There’s no question this seizure has dealt a significant blow to the criminal organization behind this operation,” said Tatum King, acting special agent in charge of HSI San Francisco, which oversees the agency’s enforcement activities in the Central Valley. “Methamphetamine is a powerful drug that devastates entire communities. By keeping this dangerous contraband from reaching our streets reaching our streets, we’ve potentially saved untold lives.”

Thursday’s search warrant was the result of intelligence information provided by the CHP.

“This case is a prime example of the ongoing collaborative efforts between local, state and federal authorities to combat the illicit flow of narcotics through our communities,” said Jason Daughrity, CHP canine unit sergeant.

 


 
Santa Paula Police Department
Santa Paula Police Department

On 3-22-14 at approximately 1144 hours, Officers responded to 975 W. Telegraph Rd. regarding a call of a disturbance. The reporting party had reported a male subject, found to be Esiguio Robledo, 50 years of Santa Paula, was armed with a large stick, found to be a shalalie irish stick, indicating people were trying to kill him. A separate reporting party called moments later indicating the subject entered her residence, was breaking windows, and asking her for firearms. Moments later the subject was contacted by a Santa Paula Police Officer. The subject entered the officers vehicle and was speaking illogically. Due to the subject being in possession of a weapon and in close proximity to the vehicles weapons, the subject was tased. The initial tasing was ineffective and the subject made his way towards a group of bystanders in the area. Concerned for their safety and that of the officer, the subject was subsequently tased a second time. Additional officers eventually arrived and the subject was taken into custody without further incident. The subject was charged with 245C PC, Assualt with a deadly weapon against a peace officer; 22210 PC, possession of a prohibited weapon; 459 PC, Burglary; 594 PC, vandalism; and 148(A)(1) PC, resisting, obstructing or delaying a peace officer. No civilians or officers were injured during this incident. Robledo was housed at the Ventura County Main Jail.

Nature of Incident: Disturbance arrest
Report Number(s): SG1400489
Location(s): 975 W. Telegraph Rd.
Dates & Times: 3-22-14 / 1144 hours
Unit Responsible: Patrol
Officer Preparing Press Release: Sgt. Scott Varner #1022
Press Release Date: 3-22-14
Follow-Up Contact: Watch Commander
Approved by: Lieutenant Ismael Cordero #1038

 


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

On 3/18/14, members of the Thousand Oaks Police Investigations and Special Enforcement Units arrested 2 subjects for numerous felony counts related to identity theft, burglary and thefts from vehicles. A third female who was staying with the two suspects was also arrested for an outstanding felony warrant and possession of methamphetamine.

Over the past month and a half, Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park and Westlake had a sharp increase in vehicle burglaries. Numerous victims had their personal information and credit cards stolen. The suspects then used that information to make thousands of dollars in fraudulent purchases at retail stores throughout the county.

After a month long investigation into the crime spree, investigators and members of the Directed Enforcement Bureau Bike Team were able to identify the suspects involved. They were Michael Rodriguez (age 44) and Nastaza Schmidt (age 25).

On 3/19/14, members of the Thousand Oaks Police Investigations and Special Enforcement Units located the suspects at a motel in Newbury Park. The suspects were found to be in possession of several pieces of evidence related to vehicle burglaries they committed in Agoura Hills just hours prior to the arrests. Additional evidence related to previous burglaries as well as methamphetamine were also located in their motel room.

Investigators believe these suspects are responsible for more than thirty (30) vehicle burglaries and thefts from vehicles in the city of Thousand Oaks alone. The Thousand Oaks Police Department is working closely with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and other neighboring agencies to link these suspects to other crimes in the area.

Burglaries of vehicles and thefts from unlocked cars continue to be a popular way to gain access to people’s personal information. The identity theft crimes associated with these burglaries are frequently committed before people even realize they are victims. Thousand Oaks Police want to remind the public how important it is to avoid leaving valuables in your vehicles and to make sure you lock your doors.

Nature of Incident: Arrests of Burglary and Identity Theft Suspects
Report Number: 14-3702
Location: Newbury Park
Date & Time: 3/18/14 0630
Unit Responsible: Thousand Oaks Investigations / Thousand Oaks Special Enforcement Unit
Prepared by: Sgt. Jason Robarts #2948
Media Release Date: 3/20/14
Follow-Up Contact: Sgt. Jason Robarts #2948
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).

 

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

During the beginning of March 2014, members of the Sheriff’s Gang Unit conducted a series of search warrants and probation searches in various areas of Ventura County. During the searches, 3 handguns were recovered, which were found to be in possession of different gang members within the county.

On March 5th, 2014, the Sheriff’s Gang Unit served a warrant in the 100 block of Benicia Way in Oxnard. During the warrant, a known member of a criminal street gang, (S) Rolando Gallardo, was found to be in possession of a firearm and methamphetamine for sales. He was arrested for various drug and weapons charges. He is currently out of custody pending the investigation.

On March 12th, 2014, the Sheriff’s Gang Unit conducted a probation search in the 200 block of Palm Street in Fillmore. During the probation search, a warrant suspect, (S) Joseph Lopez, was found to be hiding inside the residence. Joseph Lopez is a known member of a criminal street gang and a convicted felon. He was found to be in possession of a controlled substance while armed with a handgun. He was arrested for the warrant, and a variety of drug and weapons charges.

On March 13th, 2014, the Sheriff’s Gang Unit conducted a probation search in the 400 block of Stroube Street, which is located in the unincorporated area of Oxnard, known as El Rio. During the probation search, a known documented member of a criminal street gang, (S) Timothy Medina, was found to be in possession of a loaded handgun. At the time, Medina was out on bail pending a court case for a gang-related robbery. Medina was arrested for the loaded gun and is currently in custody with $750,000 bail.

Nature of Incident: Illegal Firearm Activities within Ventura County
Report Number: 14-5074, 14-5660, 14-5736
Location: County of Ventura
Date & Time: March 5th through March 13th, 2014
Unit(s) Responsible: Sheriff’s Gang Unit
Prepared by: Detective J. Foote #4423
Media Release Date: March 15th, 2014
Follow-Up Contact: Sheriff’s Gang Unit @ (805) 654-2856
Approved by: Captain Luis Obregon

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).

 

LOS ANGELES, CA - Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the seizure of over 400 firearms and the arrest of two individuals who allegedly trafficked illegal firearms.

“California has laws that regulate the sales and purchase of firearms. These individuals broke the law by illegaly selling firearms for personal profit,” Attorney General Harris said. “The trafficking of firearms is a serious threat to public safety, and they will face serious consequences.”

Suspects Alvin Seal, 67, of Oildale (Kern County), and Erik Stoffel, 39, of Apple Valley (Riverside County) were arrested and taken into custody yesterday and booked into San Bernardino County Jail on charges of sale of an assault weapon, sale of a large capacity magazine and sale to a prohibited person. Seal remains in custody on $50,000 bail while Stoffel made bail this morning.

On Tuesday, March 11, agents with the California Department of Justice executed three search warrants at three locations at 13483 Cronese Rd., Apple Valley, 329 Beardsley Ave., Oildale, and 309 Beardsley Ave., Oildale.

The search of the three locations resulted in the seizure of over 350 firearms (handguns, rifles and assault weapons), two WWII-era grenades and one mortar round. At the time of the arrests the suspects were also in possession of an additional 50 firearms.

The arrests and seizures are the result of a investigation conducted by the California Attorney General’s Office that began in early 2014. According to investigative documents, Seal was an official vendor selling firearms at California gun shows and Stoffel was a co-conspirator during Seal’s attempts to complete firearms transactions at gun shows without going through a licensed firearms dealer, as required under state law. These transactions included assault weapons, which are banned in California. Over the course of the investigation, Seal and Stoffel illegally sold multiple firearms, including banned assault weapons, to undercover agents with the California Department of Justice.

The California Department of Justice was assisted in this operation by the California Highway Patrol and the Kern County Sheriff’s Department.

 
Santa Paula Police Department
Santa Paula Police Department

On 03/11/14, Santa Paula Animal Control was dispatched to a call of 4 to 5 dogs being mauled in the backyard of a residence in the 500 block of N.14th Street. Upon arrival, there was an obvious sounds of what appeared to be a dog fight to the rear of a residence. Santa Paula Animal Control Officer separated the dogs and requested the assistance of Santa Paula Police Officers. Several dogs were found injured to the rear of the residence. With the assistance of the Ventura County Animal Control and the Humane Society, a total of 16 dogs were removed from the property.

Evidence of dog breeding was located on the property as well as evidence of dogs being trained to fight including an agitator stick, cropped ears and clipped tails on the dogs, and various stages of wounds healing on the dogs. At this time no arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing. The owner denied any allegations of wrongdoing.

Nature of Incident:
Animal Cruelty
Report Number(s):
SG1400401
Location(s):
500 N. 14th Street, Santa Paula, CA 93060
Dates & Times:
03/11/14 @ 0902 Hours
Unit Responsible:
Patrol
(S)uspects, (V)ictims
City of Residence
Age
Officer Preparing Press Release:
Chief Steven McLean #1001
Press Release Date:
03/11/14
Follow-Up Contact:
Officer Rothermel #1111
Approved by:
Sgt. Ken Clark #1070

 
The SPPD is asking for the publics assistance in solving this crime
Santa Paula Police Department
Santa Paula Police Department

On March 10, 2014 at approximately 0234 hrs, Officers from the SPPD responded to a burglary alarm at 431 Ojai Rd. #C, The Medicine Shoppe. Upon arrival Officers observed that the glass in the entry door to the business was shattered. Officers made entry into the business and found no suspect inside. An unknown amount of prescription medication was taken from the business by the suspect who appeared to be alone. Officers reviewed the video surveillance however, at the time, were unable to identify the suspect. The suspect is only described as wearing a hooded sweatshirt and gloves. It appeared the suspect was wearing some sort of a mask to conceal his/her face.

The SPPD is asking for the publics assistance in solving this crime. Anyone with information is urged to contact the SPPD.

Nature of Incident:
Commercial Burglary
Report Number(s):
SG1400396
Location(s):
431 Ojai Road #C
Dates & Times:
March 10, 2014 0234 hrs
Unit Responsible:
Patrol
(S)uspects, (V)ictims
City of Residence
Age
The Medicine Shoppe
Santa Paula
N/A

Officer Preparing Press Release:
Sgt. Jeremy Watson #1025
Press Release Date:
March 10, 2014
Follow-Up Contact:
SPPD Investigations
Approved by:
Lieutenant Ismael Cordero #1038

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

A female jail inmate punched a female sheriff’s deputy in the neck Sunday while being booked for vandalism and being under the influence of a controlled substance at the Pre-Trial Detention Facilty in Ventura. The deputy immediately restrained the inmate to control her until she was handcuffed.

Natalie Cota, an Oxnard resident, was charged with battery on a peace officer and remains in custody in lieu of $25,000 bail.

George Rustali, of Newbury Park, was brought to the jail for resisting an executive officer, resisting or delaying a peace officer, brandishing a deadly weapon, possession of tear gas, and battery. He was very intoxicated and combative with deputies when he arrived at the jail. He spit in the face of one of the booking deputies and was restrained. Deputies placed Rustali in a padded cell for observation, due to his level of intoxication and his erratic behavior.

Rustali remains in custody in lieu of $75,000.

Larry Zapata had completed the booking process early Sunday morning and was about to be moved to one of the housing units in the jail. Prior to being assigned housing, inmates are thoroughly searched to ensure they are not smuggling any drugs or weapons into the housing areas of the jail. It was during that search that Zapata was caught with 4.6 grams of heroin in his possession. Zapata had been brought to jail for several misdemeanor warrants. He is now facing a felony charge of possessing a controlled substance in a jail facility.

Zapata remains in custody in lieu of $41,500.

Sunday’s activities are not unusual in a jail facility, but they illustrate the hazards deputies and jail staff members face every day.

Nature of Incident: A Day at the Pre-Trial Detention Facility
Location: 800 S. Victoria Ave. Ventura, Ca. 93009
Date & Time: Mar. 2, 2014 from 2:00 am to 3:00 pm
Unit(s) Responsible: Sheriff’s Detention Services Division
Prepared by: Sgt. Eric Buschow
Media Release Date: Mar. 3, 2014
Follow-Up Contact: Sgt. Eric Buschow (805)947-8129
eric.buschow@ventura.org
Approved by: Commander Rick Barrios

 
Santa Paula Police Department
Santa Paula Police Department

On the above date and time Officer Pickett had just arrived at the AM/PM gas station to buy a drink when he observed a 16 year old male juvenile coming out of the front door in a rush. The juvenile had a 18 pack of beer in each hand with the gas station attendant behind him chasing him. Officer Pickett realized this as a theft in progress and chased the juvenile to a waiting vehicle parked on Felkins Road that was being driven by suspect Jose Hernandez. Hernandez put the vehicle into drive in an attempt to flee however once he observed Officer Pickett he put the vehicle back into park. Both suspects were taken into custody without incident. Based on the location of Hernandez's vehicle it was apparent this was a planned effort to steal beer. Both suspects were arrested for commercial burglary and conspiracy.

Hernandez was transported to the Ventura County Main Jail and the juvenile was transported to Juvenile Hall.

Nature of Incident:
Theft of Beer Occurs in Front of Officer
Report Number(s):
SG1400344
Location(s):
AM/PM Gas Station, 811 W. Harvard Blvd.
Dates & Times:
March 3, 2014 at 2053 hrs.
Press Release Date:
3/04/2014

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

Approximately 100 homeless people needed to be moved Friday from the National Guard Armory in Ventura to the Ventura Mission Church, which is two miles away. The armory was being used as a homeless shelter, but there was an event planned at the facility, and an alternate shelter needed to be set up at the church across town.

The Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services learned there was no plan to transport people from one shelter to another and they were being told to walk the two miles to the church in the height of the rain storm.

A phone call to Roadrunner Shuttle changed all that. The company offered their services for free and transported all of the homeless people from the armory to the church. This is another example of public and private agencies working together to solve problems in the community.

Roadrunner Shuttle has provided similar emergency transportation services before. During the Springs Fire, the company sent a fleet of buses to evacuate an entire camp of children along PCH as the fire was approaching the area.

Nature of Incident: Transportation Service Moves Homeless During Storm
Location: 2765 Eva Street, Ventura, Ca.
Date & Time: Feb. 28, 2014
Unit(s) Responsible: Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services / Roadrunner Shuttle
Prepared by: Sgt. Eric Buschow
Media Release Date: Mar. 3, 2014
Follow-Up Contact: Sgt. Eric Buschow (805)947-8129
eric.buschow@ventura.org
Approved by: Kevin McGowan, OES Director

 

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today filed a petition in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, on behalf of the State of California, urging the court to review and reverse its decision in Peruta v. County of San Diego.

In its February 13, 2014 Peruta decision, the Ninth Circuit ruled that San Diego County violates the Second Amendment by requiring individuals to show “good cause,” beyond a mere desire to carry a gun, when applying for a concealed-carry weapons permit.

“Local law enforcement must be able to use their discretion to determine who can carry a concealed weapon," Attorney General Harris said. "I will do everything possible to restore law enforcement's authority to protect public safety, and so today am calling on the court to review and reverse its decision."

California state law currently requires individuals to show "good cause" to carry a concealed weapon, but gives local law enforcement control over the permit process. If the Ninth Circuit’s ruling is allowed to take effect, officials throughout the State could be required to issue concealed-carry permits to individuals based on nothing more than the applicant’s assertion that they wish to carry a gun for self-defense.

In San Diego County, concealed-carry permit applicants have, until now, been required to show “good cause” by demonstrating “a set of circumstances that distinguish the applicant from the mainstream and causes him or her to be placed in harm’s way.”

On February 21, 2014 San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore announced he would not seek further review of the Ninth Circuit’s ruling.

The copy of the filings is attached to the electronic version of this release at: https://oag.ca.gov/news

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

An extensive search for two home burglary suspects ended late last night with their capture along Santa Rosa Road between Camarillo and Moorpark.

An off-duty deputy spotted the men hitchhiking along the shoulder of the road just before 10:00 pm. Deputies from Camarillo and Moorpark converged on the pair and arrested them after they were identified as the suspects from a residential burglary that occurred earlier Thursday at a home in Camarillo.

Deputies had been called to a home on Old Ranch Road Thursday morning to investigate a possible burglary in progress. When deputies arrived, the two suspects fled the scene in a silver sedan. Deputies pursued the vehicle east on Santa Rosa Road until it collided with a light pole and the two men ran into the nearby community of Leisure Village. The men evaded deputies for several hours by hiding in the open space south of Leisure Village.

Investigators found stolen property from the burglary inside the silver sedan.

The search involved patrol deputies, investigators, a helicopter, and two K-9 units.

Both suspects were booked at the Pre-Trial Detention Facility in Ventura for First Degree Residential Burglary and Resisting or Delaying a Peace Officer. They are scheduled to appear in court on March 3, 2014 at 1:30 pm. Their bail is $50,000.

Nature of Incident: Two Men Arrested for Residential Burglary
Report Number: 14-4592
Location: 2000-block of Old Ranch Road, Camarillo, Ca.
Date & Time: Feb. 27, 2014 @ 10:14 am
Unit(s) Responsible: Sheriff’s Camarillo Investigations Unit
Prepared by: Sgt. Eric Buschow
Media Release Date: Feb. 28, 2014
Follow-Up Contact: Sgt. Eric Buschow (805)947-8129
eric.buschow@ventura.org
Approved by: Captain Don Aguilar

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

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office has released its 2013 Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) crime statistics for Part 1 Crimes.

The data represent information collected from the unincorporated areas and the five contract cities where the Sheriff’s Office provides police services. Those cities are Thousand Oaks, Camarillo, Moorpark, Fillmore, and Ojai.

Overall, reported crime is down 6% throughout the Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction. A few areas, such as Moorpark and Camarillo showed an increase in reported crimes in 2013 over 2012. Most of the increases were due to spikes in property crimes, such as burglary and theft. Many of those crimes were thefts or burglaries from vehicles that were either unlocked or had valuables left in plain view. These crimes of opportunity can be prevented by removing valuable property from vehicles and locking them when leaving them unattended.

The full report can be viewed via the following link:

http://tinyurl.com/vcsheriffcrimestats2012-2013

Part of our success as a law enforcement agency is due to our partnerships with the communities we serve. We encourage people to actively report suspicious and/or criminal activity immediately by calling 9-1-1. Non-emergency reports can be made through our Sheriff’s Communication Center by calling (805)654-9511.

Nature of Incident: Sheriff Releases 2013 Crime Statistics
Location: Countywide
Date & Time: Jan. 1, 2013 through Dec. 31, 2013
Unit(s) Responsible: Sheriff’s Crime Analysis Unit
Prepared by: Sgt. Eric Buschow
Media Release Date: Feb. 27, 2014
Follow-Up Contact: Sgt. Eric Buschow (805)947-8129
eric.buschow@ventura.org
Approved by: Cmdr. Steve DeCesari

 

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the arrest of seven suspects who have been charged in a mortgage fraud scheme that defrauded more than 1,550 Inland Valley homeowners seeking loan modification services during California’s foreclosure crisis.

The felony complaint alleges that Nehad “Nick” Ayyoub Ayyoub, 57, of San Bernardino and president of The Firm Loans, Insurance and Investments Inc. and First Choice Debt Solutions Inc., along with his six colleagues, Ghydan Ayyoub Rabadi, 38, of Los Angeles, Zaid Rabadi, 49, of Los Angeles, James Clemons, 55, of Riverside County, Wissam Ismail, 32, of Riverside County, Eddie Mercado, 57, of San Bernardino, and Majid Safaie, 60, of Orange County, deceived homeowners by illegally charging up-front payments for loan modification services and lying about the services they provided.

“These individuals profited from the fear and desperation of hard working Californians who were simply fighting to keep their homes during the height of our state’s foreclosure crisis,” Attorney General Harris said. “This kind of predatory activity is reprehensible.”

The suspects are charged in a 24 count complaint of felony grand theft, personal and corporate income tax evasion and conspiracy. The suspects were booked at Murrieta Detention Center, Orange County Jail, Rancho Cucamonga Jail and Azusa Police Department today. Ayyoub is being held with bail set at $75,000 and all others are being held with bail set at $50,000. Ayyoub is facing a maximum exposure of 12 years in prison while his colleagues are facing a maximum exposure of 8 years.

According to court filings, Ayyoub and his colleagues took advantage of homeowners who were desperate to lower their mortgage payments by selling them home loan modification services and requiring payment of up-front fees. Homeowners were falsely told that attorneys would be negotiating their loan modifications, that they would get a loan modification with no risk of failure, that they would receive a refund if they were dissatisfied and that the suspects had special contacts with lenders, which would give them an advantage in obtaining lowered monthly payments.

Homeowners were instructed to stop paying their mortgage and to instead give the money to Ayyoub and his colleagues to ensure that they would obtain a loan modification, causing many victims to default on their home loans without obtaining a modification, according to court filings.

The suspects operated this scam from January 2007 to March 2010, according to court filings.

Attorney General Harris’ Mortgage Fraud Strike Force began investigating this case in 2010 yet business records were immediately sealed until September 2012 when Safaie’s claim of attorney client privilege was overruled.

Homeowners who feel they may have been victimized should file an online complaint with the California Attorney General’s Office: http://oag.ca.gov/consumers

Agents with the California Attorney General’s Bureau of Investigations were assisted by investigators with the State Franchise Tax Board.

Created in May 2011 by Attorney General Harris, the Mortgage Fraud Strike Force continues to lead the charge in investigating and prosecuting misconduct at all stages of the mortgage process.

In February 2012, Attorney General Harris secured a commitment from the nation’s five largest banks which has resulted in more than $20 billion for struggling California homeowners. Following the settlement, Attorney General Harris sponsored the California Homeowner Bill of Rights, a landmark package of legislation that restricts dual-track foreclosures, guarantees struggling homeowners a reliable point of contact at their lender and imposes civil penalties on fraudulently signed mortgage documents. In addition, homeowners may require loan servicers to document their right to foreclose. This legislation was signed by Governor Brown in July 2012 and took effect on January 1, 2013.

Please note that a complaint contains only allegations against a person and, as with all defendants, those named here must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

A copy of the complaint can be found attached to the electronic version of this release at: https://oag.ca.gov/news

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

On 2-19-14, Investigators with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, Major Crimes / Sexual Assault Bureau arrested Ryan Metier for committing lewd acts with a child. Metier was booked into the Ventura County Pre-Trial Detention Facility on $100,000.00 bail. He later posted bail and is scheduled to be arraigned in Ventura County Superior Court on March 3, 2014.

This investigation has led to concern that Metier may have assaulted other victims. Anyone with information that may help in identifying witnesses or other potential victims is asked to contact Detective Matt Delahuerta at 805-384-4740/ Matt.Delahuerta@Ventura.org or Detective Greg Guilin at 805-384-4725/ Gregory.Guilin@Ventura.org.

Nature of Incident: Suspect arrested for committing lewd acts with a child
Report Number: 13-9044
Location: Camarillo, Ca
Date & Time: 2-19-14 1245 hours
Unit(s) Responsible: Ventura County Sheriff’s Major Crimes/Sexual Assault Unit
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent City of Residence Age
(S) Ryan Metier
(V) Juvenile Camarillo, Ca 23
Prepared by: Detective Greg Guilin # 2920
Media Release Date: 2-24-14
Follow-Up Contact: Detective Greg Guilin 805-384-4725
Detective Matthew Delahuerta 805-384-4770
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).

 
Wilfredo Chavarria
Wilfredo Chavarria

Detectives with the Simi Valley Police Department and Ventura County Sheriff’s Office concluded an investigation into a heroin delivery service with the arrest of 29 year old Granada Hills resident, Wilfredo Chavarria.

Detectives learned Chavarria was operating the service and often used subjects commonly referred to as “Runners” to meet and deliver heroin to Los Angeles and East Ventura County customers. During the course of the investigation, detectives observed Chavarria meet and deal heroin to numerous customers.

On 2/19/2014, detectives detained and arrested Chavarria after he left his residence. Detectives served a search warrant at Chavarria’s residence located on the 17000 block of Kingsbury Street, Granada Hills. Detectives seized a quarter pound of heroin, two rifles, and two handguns. One of the rifles was an AK 47 assault rifle which had a large capacity magazine attached to it. Additionally, detectives seized over $18,000.00 in currency which was deemed to be from drug proceeds. There was also evidence Chavarria was actively involved in the sales of drugs.

Chavarria was arrested for two counts of sale/ transport/ offer to sell a controlled substance, one count of possession for sale of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance with a firearm, possession of a large capacity magazine, possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of an assault weapon, and possession of ammunition by a felon.

Chavarria was booked into the Ventura County Sheriff’s East County Jail pending the posting of bail set at $500,000.00. He scheduled to appear in Ventura County Superior Court on 2/21/2014, at 1:30 PM.

Nature of Incident: Narcotics Arrest
Report Number: 14-1050
Location: White Oak Avenue and Devonshire Street, Northridge
17000 Block of Kingsbury Street, Granada Hills
Date & Time: 2/19/2014 @ 1630 hours
Unit(s) Responsible: Ventura County Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent City of Residence Age
Chavarria, Wilfredo Granada Hills, Ca 29
Prepared by: Sgt. Jose Rivera
Media Release Date: 2/20/2014
Follow-Up Contact: Sgt. Jose Rivera (805) 797-6341 jose.rivera@ventura.org
Approved by: Captain Curt Rothschiller

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

Several Ventura County residents have received phone calls from a person claiming to be a Ventura County Sheriff’s Office employee who demands payment via a Green Dot transaction to clear up an outstanding warrant.

Callers are being told they did not show up for required jury duty and they have to pay a fine to clear up a warrant that has been issued.

These calls are fraudulent and have no connection to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office. Anyone who receives a phone call from someone demanding payment for an outstanding warrant should report the situation immediately as a crime. The calls are originating from a local number in the 805 area code.

Investigators are working to identify the suspect who made the calls. Anyone with information about the person or group responsible for this scam can contact investigators at the Camarillo Police Department at (805)388-5100. 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).

Nature of Incident: Beware of Warrant Payment Scam
Report Number: 14-3778
Location: Countywide
Date & Time: Feb. 17, 2014
Unit(s) Responsible: Camarillo Investigations Bureau
Prepared by: Sgt. Eric Buschow
Media Release Date: Feb. 19, 2014
Follow-Up Contact: Sgt. Eric Buschow (805)947-8129
eric.buschow@ventura.org
Approved by: Captain Don Aguilar

 

Los Angeles – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris expressed her condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of California Highway Patrol officers Juan Gonzalez and Brian Law, who died this morning in the line of duty.

“The deaths of officers Juan Gonzalez and Brian Law are a deep loss for all of our law enforcement community. Their commitment to serve will never be forgotten, and their sacrifice will forever be honored by the people of California and the brave men and women of the California Highway Patrol.

On behalf of the California Department of Justice, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Officer Gonzalez and Officer Law who died tragically this morning in the line of duty.”

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

The Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit in conjunction with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration concluded a one month investigation with the arrest of Victor Pinto and the service of a search warrant at his residence in Los Angeles on February 12, 2014.

Investigators recently learned information that identified Victor Pinto as a source of supply of Molly, steroids, and cocaine to Ventura County residents in Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley. Investigators were able to gather enough evidence to arrest Pinto for sales of drugs. Pinto was arrested in a parking lot in the 20400 block of Ventura Boulevard, in the City of Los Angeles. He had over a half pound of Molly on his person possessed for sales.

The drug Molly may represent any number of Ecstasy type drugs currently on the illicit market. In this case, the drug Methylone was being sold as Molly. It is similar to ecstasy in that it provides users with a euphoric high similar to other illegal stimulants and hallucinogens.

The service of the search warrant resulted in the seizure of a half-pound of cocaine, another twenty ounces of molly, and a large amount of steroids, all possessed for sale. Additionally, over $50,000, two expensive vehicles, and a motorcycle, all believed to be derivative of drug sales, were seized.

Pinto was booked into the Ventura County Main Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail. His court date is pending.

The Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit is comprised of members of law enforcement from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, Simi Valley Police Department, and the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigation. The main mission of the unit is to stem the flow of prescription medication to the illegal market. A secondary, and equally important related, mission is identifying and stopping new trends of non-traditional drug sales that target teenagers and young adults in Ventura County.

Nature of Incident: Molly / Steroid / Cocaine Dealer Arrested
Report Number: 13-18290
Location: 20400 block of Ventura Boulevard, Los Angeles
Date & Time: February 12, 2014
Unit(s) Responsible: Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent City of Residence Age
(S) Victor Pinto Los Angeles 45
Prepared by: Sergeant Victor Fazio
Media Release Date: February 13, 2014
Follow-Up Contact: Sergeant Victor Fazio
(805) 856-8793
victor.fazio@ventura.org
Approved by: Captain Curt Rothschiller