Massive cocaine bust at Port of Hueneme
More than 200 pounds of cocaine were seized by federal authorities at the Port of Hueneme on Jan. 22 and Jan. 28, hidden aboard ships from Ecuador and Guatemala — the largest drug bust in over 25 years.
The first bust, conducted by officers from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations, netted 204.2 pounds of cocaine hidden beneath floorboards aboard a refrigerated cargo vessel. The second netted 17.5 pounds, again found beneath the floorboards of a second ship, bringing the total to 221.7 pounds.
“This is the largest drug seizure at Port Hueneme in the last quarter of a century,” said LaFonda Sutton-Burke, Customs and Border Patrol port director of the LA/Long Beach Seaport, and Port Hueneme, in a statement. “I’m extremely proud of the results of this joint effort. It shows the professionalism, vigilance and keen focus of both agencies in preventing dangerous drugs into our communities.”
Helicopter helps find suspect in Camarillo
A helicopter unit responded to a pursuit in Camarillo on Sunday, Feb. 17, leading to the arrest of a man wanted for a misdemeanor warrant.
An officer from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department approached the suspect in the park-and-ride lot off of Pleasant Valley Road on Sunday morning when the suspect fled on foot, speeding through a nearby gas station before hurdling over a fence and into a residential backyard, where he hid in bushes.
The Copter 3 air unit located the man in the backyard, where he was contacted by deputies and arrested without incident.
Suspect in court after running over T.O. High School employee
A 16-year old Newbury Park student of Thousand Oaks High School remains in custody following a violent hit-and-run incident during which a 50-year old school employee was critically injured.
On Friday, Feb. 8, during a school basketball game, Lisa Solis, a Thousand Oaks High staff member, chased the suspect from the auditorium after allegedly witnessing him stealing concessions. The suspect and four others ran from the auditorium and into a sedan. Solis stepped in front of the vehicle to stop the boys from leaving the scene when the suspect accelerated, running over and critically injuring Solis.
The teen was later arrested at his Newbury Park home. The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office alleged that the teen committed assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury with the special allegation that he caused great bodily injury during commission of the felony.
At the hearing on Thursday, Feb. 14, defense attorney Ron Bamieh requested that the suspect be released to his family while awaiting trial citing a lack of prior convictions, suggesting that the incident was the result of inexperience and panic. The request was denied by Superior Court Judge Kevin McGee, the suspect remaining in juvenile hall.
Depending on whether or not the teen is tried as an adult, he could remain in custody until he is 25 years old or face a maximum of seven years in state prison.
Ventura armed robbery suspect taken down by K-9 unit
A convicted felon armed with an assault rifle was apprehended with assistance from two police dogs after an armed robbery at a Ventura Subway restaurant.
At around 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 7, the Ventura Police Department says that 43-year-old Eugene Hernandez entered the restaurant on the 4600 block of Telegraph Road and demanded money from the cash register before leaving with an undisclosed amount.
Hernandez was later spotted walking along Telegraph Road near Transport Street before dropping a bag containing an assault rifle and cash and fleeing into a nearby orchard. K-9 officers responded and located Hernandez in a tree. He did not respond to orders by officers, suffering minor injuries when the K-9 units were used to assist in the arrest.
Hernandez will be charged with robbery, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a high capacity magazine and resisting arrest, said police. Hernandez was also wanted in San Bernardino County for a felony warrant for a parole violation.
Man arrested in Ventura for indecent exposure
The Ventura Police Department says that on Saturday, Feb. 9, Ventura resident Anthony Manzano, 32, was arrested and booked into Ventura County Jail on suspicion of indecent exposure.
At around 10:35 p.m., officers responded to a call of a subject engaged in lewd activity outside of a residential window on the 11100 block of Citrus Drive in Ventura. Responding officers searched for the suspect and found an acquaintance of the victim had subdued Manzano.
Police say that there may be additional victims and anyone with further information should contact the Ventura Police Detectives at 805-339-4488.