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

 

SAN BERNARDINO – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the arrest of two individuals suspected of operating a methamphetamine conversion lab in San Bernardino County. Agents with a California Department of Justice task force and detectives with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department seized a total of 206 lbs. of crystal methamphetamine and 250 gallons of liquid methamphetamine, which is capable of producing 1,250 lbs. of crystal methamphetamine. The street value of the methamphetamine seized is estimated at $7.2 million.

“Methamphetamine is one of the most toxic drugs available, destroying the bodies and minds of countless people,” Attorney General Harris said. “California is the national epicenter of its trafficking and distribution, so I have made it a priority of the California Department of Justice’s task forces to stop those who would sell and manufacture this debilitating drug. This bust significantly reduces the amount of methamphetamine on our streets, and I thank the agents and partners who worked collaboratively to seize these drugs.”

Agents and detectives arrested Jorge Valdez, 34, and Miguel Angel Sanchez, 24, of Hinkley. Both were booked at the San Bernardino County Jail and are currently being held on $1,000,000 bail each. Both are charged with two felony counts each for the manufacture and possession for sale of methamphetamine and are being prosecuted by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office.

“I stand with my law enforcement counterparts with an unwavering commitment to stop the manufacturing and dealing of narcotics in San Bernardino County,” San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said. “Drug use undermines traditional values and it is our responsibility to put an end to it.”

“Thanks to the extensive work of the Attorney General’s task force and our Sheriff’s Department, we were able to prevent a significant amount of the destructive drug, methamphetamine, from making it to our streets,” San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos said. “We look forward to prosecuting these individuals to the fullest extent of the law and sending the message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated in San Bernardino County.”

An investigation headed by a California Department of Justice task force led agents to a residence at 37767 Mountain View Road in the city of Hinkley in Santa Bernardino County, which they believed contained a methamphetamine conversion lab. On Wednesday, May 28, agents obtained a search warrant for the residence and discovered a methamphetamine conversion lab onsite. Inside, law enforcement personnel arrested Valdez and Sanchez, seized 206 lbs. of crystal methamphetamine, and approximately 250 gallons of liquid methamphetamine, which is capable of producing 1,250 lbs. of crystal methamphetamine.

Photos from the seizure may be found attached to the electronic version of this release at: https://oag.ca.gov/news

Attorney General Harris is currently working with the state legislature to secure funding for Department of Justice task forces and special operations units that specialize in anti-narcotics investigations.

Agencies that participated in this operation include: The California Department of Justice, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol and Homeland Security Investigations.

A March 2014 report issued by Attorney General Harris called the trafficking of methamphetamine a growing threat to the state and a top priority for law enforcement. The report, Gangs Beyond Borders: California and the Fight Against Transnational Organized Crime, is 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 also outlined recommendations to address this problem, which include increased funding for state anti-narcotics trafficking task forces and additional coordination between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in combatting transnational criminal organizations. The report is available here: https://oag.ca.gov/transnational-organized-crime

 
Cornelio Perez
Cornelio Perez

On May 30, 2014, the Sheriff’s Gang Unit served a search warrant at the home of Cornelio Perez in the City of Santa Paula. Detectives located 4 handguns, 1 sawed-off shotgun, and several hundred rounds of ammunition in the residence. A registration check of the firearms revealed that none of the handguns were registered to Perez or anyone in the household. Cornelio Perez is a convicted felon and prohibited from owning or possessing firearms. Cornelio Perez was arrested for possession of firearms by a prohibited person.

Elizabeth Perez and Gerardo Vargas were at the location during the service of the search warrant. Perez was found with a small quantity of methamphetamine and Vargas was under the influence of a controlled substance.

Cornelio Perez, Elizabeth Perez, and Gerardo Vargas were all booked at the Ventura County Jail. The investigation into the true ownership of the firearms is on-going.

Nature of Incident: Illegal Firearm and Drug Arrests
Report Number: 14-12294
Location: 300 Block of North 14th Street, Santa Paula
Date & Time: 5/30/2014 @ 0900
Unit(s) Responsible: Sheriff’s Gang Unit
Prepared by: Senior Deputy Brian Slominski
Media Release Date: 5/30/2014
Follow-Up Contact: Senior Deputy Brian Slominski 805-677-8771
Brian.slominski@ventura.org
Approved by: Captain David Kenney

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

SACRAMENTO – Senate Bill 1413, George Runner-sponsored legislation relating to the Fire Prevention Fee, cleared the Senate this week.

SB 1413, authored by Senator Mark Wyland (R-Escondido), would increase the payment due date of the Fire Prevention Fee from 30 days from the date of assessment to 60 days. Due to the rural nature of those being billed, many individuals do not receive their fire fee bills in a timely manner. Additionally, many of these individuals are on fixed incomes, making it nearly impossible for them to pay their Fire Prevention Fee by the 30-day deadline.

“The confusing and controversial fire fee is tax policy at its worst,” said George Runner. “It should be eliminated entirely, but until then SB 1413 is a step in the right direction. Increasing the payment due date will help lessen the burden of this illegal tax on rural homeowners.”

Runner’s other fire fee measures were killed during their first committee hearings.
These included legislation to: (1) eliminate the penalty placed on taxpayers who appeal their bill but are denied (AB 1519); (2) give taxpayers an additional level of protection by allowing them to appeal their bills to the Board of Equalization if they are denied by CAL-FIRE (AB 1954); and (3) ensure all taxpayers receive a refund when a tax or fee is declared illegal (AB 2510 and SB 1327).

SB 1413 received unanimous, bipartisan support in the Senate and now moves to the Assembly.

George Runner represents more than nine million Californians as a taxpayer advocate and elected member of the State Board of Equalization. For more information, visit boe.ca.gov/Runner or calfirefee.com.

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

On May 2, 2014, the Moorpark Police Department responded to an assault with a deadly weapon call at Corrigan’s bar in Moorpark. During the incident, several subjects from a Moorpark gang allegedly brandished a baseball bat and threatened several patrons at the bar. The gang members fled the scene before police arrived; however, one of the gang members was knocked unconscious during the incident.

As a result of the investigation, detectives obtained a search warrant for seven local gang members and associates including their residences located throughout the City of Moorpark. Members of various specialized units throughout the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the execution of the search warrants.

During the searches, two documented gang members were arrested for unrelated charges. Luis Mendez was arrested for being under the influence of a controlled substance and Kevin Aguilar was arrested for a parole violation. Both subjects were booked at the East County Jail Facility.

Investigators are continuing to investigate the assault with the deadly weapon. Anyone with information on the incident is encouraged to call the Moorpark Police Department at (805) 532-2700.

Nature of Incident: Gang Search Warrants & Arrests
Report Number: 14-10102
Location: Various Locations Throughout the City of Moorpark
Date & Time: May 29, 2014 @ 0700 hours
Unit(s) Responsible: Moorpark Police Department Investigations Unit, Sheriff’s Gang Unit, Sheriff’s Special Crimes Unit, Thousand Oaks Police Department, Camarillo Police Department, Sheriff’s Tactical Response Team
Prepared by: Sergeant Eric Tennessen
Media Release Date: 5-29-14
Follow-Up Contact: Sergeant Eric Tennessen at (805) 532-2716 or eric.tennessen@ventura.org
Approved by: Stephen Wade, Captain

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 5-30-14 at approximately 1112 hours officers responded to the Santa Paula High School for a report of 100 students fighting in the center quad area. Upon arrival students had returned to class and officers left the area. School officials reported this was due to reports on social media that students were "going to storm" the boys gym due to a social activity being canceled. At approximately 1228 hours officers responded again to the high school for a large group of students becoming unruly and causing a disturbance. Seven officers responded and found approximatley 400 students in the quad area. Eight students were detained by high school personnel for inciting a riot. At the request of school officials eight students were cited for inciting a riot. One of those same students was also cited for battery on a school official. All students detained were released to their parents. The student detained by police was also cited for inciting a riot and was released on scene.

Nature of Incident:
Social Disturbance
Report Number(s):
SG1400915
Location(s):
Santa Paula High School. 404 N. 6th St.
Dates & Times:
5-30-14 / 1112 hours
Unit Responsible:
Officer Preparing Press Release:
Press Release Date:
5-30-14
Follow-Up Contact:
Watch Commander
Approved by:

 

On 5-30-14 at approximately 0200 hours, Santa Paula Police Officers responded to the area of the 300 block of Larmon Loop, City of Santa Paula, regarding a call of a domestic dispute. When officers arrived, they located a male subject, Daniel Garcia age 21 of Santa Paula, inside of a vehicle in the area. Garcia was found to be on probation and detained believing that he was the subject involved in the reported domestic dispute. The other half of the domestic dispute could not be located after an extensive check of the area was conducted. While checking the area, inside of the vehicle Garcia was observed inside of, a shotgun was located. It was discovered this was a shotgun reported as stolen earlier in the shift. The subject was also found to be in possession of several controlled substances. Garcia is also a known gang associate. He was placed under arrest for 11377 H&S and 11350 H&S, possession of a controlled substance; 496 PC, possession of stolen property; and 11370.1 H&S, possession of a controlled substance with a firearm. The stolen firearm was returned to the owner.

Nature of Incident:
Weapons / Narcotics Arrest
Report Number(s):
SG1400912
Location(s):
300 Block of Larmon Loop
Dates & Times:
5-30-14 / 0200 hours
Unit Responsible:
(S)uspects, (V)ictims
City of Residence
Age
Daniel Garcia
Santa Paula
21
Officer Preparing Press Release:
Press Release Date:
5-30-14
Follow-Up Contact:
Watch Commander
Approved by:

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

Sheriff’s investigators eradicated the first large scale marijuana cultivation of the 2014 season with the seizure of 50,280 marijuana plants,

During a marijuana reconnaissance flight in the canyons north of Lake Piru, narcotics investigators discovered a large scale marijuana cultivation site. The marijuana cultivation was located in a canyon approximately 10 miles north of Lake Piru in the Los Padres National Forest. The marijuana plants stretched for over a mile and occupied several smaller side canyons.

On May 23, Investigators from the Sheriff’s Narcotics Bureau West County Street Team, Sheriff’s Custody Bureau, Santa Paula Police Department, and California National Guard Multi-Functional Counter Drug Task Force, were flown to the site by the Sheriff’s Air Unit. 50,280 marijuana plants were eradicated with an estimated street value of over $201,000,000.

Detectives discovered that water had been diverted from several natural springs into hand dug reservoirs. Growers often add fertilizers to these reservoirs, using miles of irrigation hose to water multiple grow sites throughout the canyons. This exploitation of the water course prevents native plants from receiving water and is unsafe for animals or humans to drink. Several hundred pounds of fertilizer were found, along with herbicides, rat poisons, and mountains of trash. Multiple grower campsites were found, one containing a rifle. Investigators believe 6-8 suspects were living in the camps. The suspects fled upon the arrival of investigators.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office believes these large scale marijuana cultivations are connected to Mexican Cartels operating in California. We remind those using our county’s backcountry to be vigilant in watching for clandestine marijuana operations. If you see irrigation hose, fertilizers, rustic campsites, or hikers without equipment in secluded areas, you may be in danger. If you find yourself in an area and see this type of situation, quietly leave the area and notify law enforcement immediately. You can report your observations anonymously.

Nature of Incident: Marijuana Cultivation and Eradication
Report Number: 14-10615
Location: Piru Canyon
Date & Time: May 23, 2014
Unit(s) Responsible: Sheriff’s Narcotics Bureau, Sheriff’s Custody Bureau, Santa Paula Police Dept, California National Guard
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent City of Residence Age
Unknown Unknown
Prepared by: Sgt Mike Horne
Media Release Date: May 28, 2014
Follow-Up Contact: Captain Don Aguilar
805-797-7349
Approved by: Captain Mark Franke

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

A woman was sexually battered Friday night in the restroom of a local movie theater by an unknown assailant.

On May 23, 2014, at approximately 11:39 p.m., deputies from the Thousand Oaks Police Department were dispatched to a sexual battery, which had just occurred at the Muvico Theatre on Hillcrest Drive. The victim reported that while she was in a restroom stall, an unidentified man slid underneath the partition and sexually battered her. After a brief struggle, the victim was able to exit the stall, and the suspect fled from the theater.

The suspect was described as a Hispanic male, 5’5” to 5’7”, 130-150 lbs., slender, brown hair, brown eyes, medium to dark complexion, wearing a grey hoodie and dark colored jeans. The suspect’s image was captured by surveillance cameras as he was leaving the area of the restroom. The suspect exited the theatre and got into the passenger seat of a black sedan.

The Thousand Oaks Police Department is seeking assistance from the public with identifying this suspect. Anyone with information about the suspect can call Detective Eric Taylor at (805) 947-8252 and any press inquiries can be directed to Sergeant Eric Buschow at (805) 947-8129.

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: Woman Sexually Battered at Movie Theater
Report Number: 14-11853
Location: Muvico Theatre 166 W. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks
Date & Time: May 23, 2014 @ 11:14 p.m.
Unit Responsible: East County Major Crimes / Sexual Assault Unit
Prepared by: Sergeant Robert Fleming
Media Release Date: May 24, 2014
Follow-Up Contact: Detective Eric Taylor (805) 947-8252
Sergeant Eric Buschow (805) 947-8129
Approved by: Captain Mike Hartmann