News: Sheriffs Announce Recent Narcotics Operations in SCV
Captain Lewis announced recent operations conducted to combat a growing number of opioid-related overdose emergencies in the Santa Clarita Valley, which resulted in the arrest of six suspects in late April, 2017.
With the growing wave of addiction to legally and illegally-obtained opioids like heroin and various prescription medications, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station personnel recognized the vital importance of enforcement to keep the areas they serve safe and healthy. Station personnel and detectives assigned to Narcotics Bureau worked tirelessly over the past few months to identify and arrest street-level drug dealers operating in the Santa Clarita Valley area and seized large quantities of dangerous, illegal drugs.
Captain Robert Lewis, formerly assigned to Santa Clarita Valley Station as a lieutenant, promoted and returned to the station as its new unit commander. Upon returning, he saw the urgent need to increase enforcement against the sales of illegal narcotics to Santa Clarita Valley residents, especially the young adults.
In late April, 2017, after eight opioid overdose emergencies, which include one death, occurred in a 72-hour period, Captain Lewis requested assistance from Narcotics Bureau detectives.
On Tuesday, May 2, 2017, two sergeants, five detectives and a secretary were temporarily assigned to Santa Clarita Valley Station and formed a team focused directly on locating and arresting local, illegal narcotics dealers. The team got to work immediately and focused on rooting-out the source of devastation, and making the areas they serve a safer and healthier place to live.
Between Tuesday, May 2, 2017, and Thursday, June 15, 2017, multiple operations were conducted, and included ground and air surveillance, traffic stops, and communication and partnering with local residents concerned about drugs being sold in their neighborhoods.
The detectives’ diligence and perseverance saw swift results with the arrest of multiple suspects, and the seizure of approximately 20 ounces of heroin, $13,000 in cash, and two cars with hidden compartments to conceal the narcotics. One package of heroin was laced with fentanyl, a powerful opioid administered in surgical settings by medical professionals for the purpose of sedation. By June 15, 2017, 39 arrests of narcotics dealers were made, a stolen firearm was located, and nearly two pounds of heroin were seized, plus other dangerous drugs like methamphetamine.
The approach was multi-directional, considering the addict and their families as more than mere statistics; upon arrest or contact with a person addicted to opioids, resources were offered through the city of Santa Clarita to provide intervention, family counseling and rehabilitation.
As an extension of the operation, it was determined vigilance of local youth, vulnerable to narcotics introduction in adolescence, was the best protection of their adulthood. The Juvenile Intervention Team, known as J-Team, was specifically formed to direct concentrated attention at keeping our local youth aware and safe, and even get them help if they struggle with narcotic addiction.
In the event an addict falls to overdose, deputies can deploy a lifesaving tool found in a four-milligram nasal spray. Naloxone, an anti-opioid which goes by the brand name of Narcan®, blocks or reverses the effects of opioids. Santa Clarita Valley was one of the first stations to debut issuance of the single-use atomizer in June, 2017. Soon, deputies at all 26 sheriff’s stations will be equipped to offer a potential second chance during the critical first moments of necessary aid to those believed suffering opioid overdose emergencies.
During a press conference given Wednesday, June 28, 2017, to discuss the efforts invested into improving the health, safety and quality of life within the Santa Clarita Valley, Captain Lewis said, “When I returned to Santa Clarita Station, I saw we were losing many young adults due to heroin overdoses. I couldn’t allow this to continue, so without delay, enforcement efforts were ramped-up to apprehend street drug dealers and make Santa Clarita safer place for our residents.”
Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Fifth District, County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, said, “While we continue to fight the opioid problem plaguing our county, our first responders in law enforcement will now have a vital tool to help victims survive an overdose and have another chance at life.”
Mayor Cameron Smyth, city of Santa Clarita, said, “The heroin epidemic is a community issue and will take the entire community working together to find a solution.”
If you know someone who lives in the Santa Clarita Valley and is addicted to opioids, help is available. Click www.211LACounty.org or call 2-1-1 to learn more about local programs offered through the Los Angeles County and the city of Santa Clarita. If you believe someone is suffering an overdose emergency, dial 9-1-1.
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station polices the city of Santa Clarita and the unincorporated communities and a portion of the Angeles National Forest, as well as Bouquet Canyon, Canyon County, Castaic, Gorman, Hasley Canyon, Newhall, Neenach, Sand Canyon, Santa Clarita, Saugus, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Sleepy Valley, Southern Oaks, Stevenson Ranch, Sunset Point, Tesoro del Valle, Valencia, Val Verde, West Hills, and West Ranch.
To learn more about Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, visit our website at http://www.santaclarita.lasd.org/.(c) 2017 SCVTV