***UPDATE*** AT RISK MISSING PERSON
LOCATION:  21600 block Brooks Ave, Lindsay          DATE:           TIME: 
CASE NUMBER:  12-12310         VICTIM:  Felix Garcia 62 years old          CITY:  Lindsay

On 09/20/2012 Detectives from the Tulare County Sheriff's Department, working in conjunction with allied law enforcement agencies, located Missing Person Felix Garcia. He was found to be in good physical and mental health in an undisclosed location. He is no longer considered a missing person or at risk.

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
Marijuna Eradication Details Starting 09-13-2012
LOCATION:  Multiple          DATE:  09-13-12          TIME: 
CASE NUMBER:  Multiple         VICTIM:  State of CA          CITY:  Multiple

On 9/13/12 and again on 9/18/12 Detectives from the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office S.T.E.P. Unit partnered with Federal Officers from the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and the Drug Enforcement Administration’s C.E.R.T. Program (Cannabis Eradication & Reclamation Teams) to raid and eradicate two large mountain marijuana grow sites in the Sequoia National Forest near Speas Creek and Rube Creek. On both occasions several suspects fled into the thick underbrush and steep terrain. In the Speas Creek operation, approximately 7,675 live marijuana plants were seized during the operation. These marijuana plants were fully mature and the garden had already been partially harvested. In Rube Creek, most of the grow site had been harvested; however 1,478 fully mature marijuana plants were seized. These fully mature plants would yield in excess of one pound of usable marijuana bud with a street value in excess of $3,000 per pound.

 

In addition to the marijuana plants seized, detectives also seized several firearms, ammunition for several pistols, rifles and shotguns. Multiple pounds of fertilizer, pesticides and rat poison were located in addition to several types of Mexican pesticides not readily available in the U.S.

 

Detectives and Federal Officers removed trash, water hose, pesticides and fertilizers from the Public lands grow sites and restored as much as possible, the natural streams and creeks which had been diverted by growers (a process known as reclamation.) Additional work will be done on these areas to restore them to their natural state after the marijuana season, to lessen the danger to workers on those projects.

This case is still under investigation by the TCSO STEP Unit.

 

On 9/20/12 detectives from the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office S.T.E.P. and Narcotics Units concluded a two month long investigation into the cultivation and possession for sale of marijuana. At 0700 hrs on the above date detectives responded to a location in the 22500 block of Ave 314 in Lindcove for the service of a search warrant on a large marijuana grow site. This location had come to detective’s attention after neighbors reported armed men guarding the marijuana garden.

 

Upon arrival, detectives contacted the below listed suspects who attempted to flee by jumping over several fences all were captured and detained by assisting officers. The suspects were found to be growing marijuana under the guise of it being medicinal; the investigation found that the marijuana was being grown for sales to marijuana dispensaries in the Los Angeles area.

S-1 Juan Javier Chavez 22 yoa, Out of Mexico, HS 11358/ 11359/ PC 148
S-2 Luis Curiel, 31 yoa, Out of Los Angles, HS 11358/ 11359/ PC 148
S-3 Raul Ortega, 41 yoa, Out of Cutler, HS 11358/ 11359/ PC 148
S-4 Armando Anaya, 30 yoa, Out of Mexico HS 11358/ 11359/ PC 148
S-5 Jose Luevanos, 19 yoa, Out of Los Angles, HS 11358/ 11359/ PC 148
S-6 David Luevanos 19 yoa, Out of Los Angles, HS 11358/ 11359/ PC 148

 

The grow site itself was found to have a sophisticated surveillance and alarm system. Several rifles and a handgun were also seized from the property.  The 266 marijuana plants seized weighed in excess of 1800 pounds. A pound of high quality marijuana bud would have a street value of over $3,000 per pound if sold in California, on the east coast the value of a pound of marijuana is worth several times the California price.

 

This case is still under investigation by the TCSO STEP Unit.

Pictures from grow site availave at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tularecountysheriff/sets/72157631585133911/

 
...posted by media relations
*****
664.187/422PC/ Attempted Homicide/ Terrorist Threats
LOCATION:  3000 block of Ave 308-Goshen          DATE:  09-19-12          TIME:  1701
CASE NUMBER:  12-12359         VICTIM:           CITY: 

On 9-19-12, deputies were dispatched to the Goshen area regarding a domestic abuse case.
Upon further investigation, I learned that on 09-19-12 the victim was physically assaulted. The victim was threatened with a knife, and was held against her will. The victim sustained several cuts and bruises. The victim was transported to the hospital where she was treated and released.

The suspect was later contacted and was arrested for the above charges, and was later booked at the Main Jail.

The case is under investigation by the Tulare County Sheriff's Department.

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
11378 H&S, 11379H&S Possession for sales and transporting a controlled substance
LOCATION:  41500 Block of Rd. 128 Orosi          DATE:  09-18-12          TIME:  2357hrs
CASE NUMBER:  12-12324         VICTIM:           CITY: 

On 9-18-12, 2357 hrs. Tulare County Sheriff Deputies conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle with expired registration. The driver was contacted and found to have a suspended drivers license. A search of his person incident to arrest revealed him to be in possession of a controlled substance.

Further investigation revealed a scale, packaging material, and additional controlled substance inside of his vehicle. A presumptive test was conducted on the substance which tested positive for methamphetamine. The substance weighed approximately 7.3 grams.

The suspect identified as 31 year old Frank Gonzalez of Orosi was booked into the Tulare County Jail on charges of transporting and possession for sales of narcotics.     

The case remains under investigation by the Tulare County Sheriff Department.
    

 

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
At Risk Missing Person
LOCATION:  21671 Brooks Ave, Lindsay          DATE:  09-18-12          TIME: 
CASE NUMBER:  12-12310         VICTIM:  Felix Garcia 62 years old          CITY:  Lindsay

On the above date and time deputies responded to the Lindsay Police Department where a family member reported the Felix Garcia, 62 years old from Lindsay, missing. Garcia is considered at risk because he suffers from dementia and has other medical problems. He was last seen this morning at about 11:00am walking east from his residence in the 21600 block of Brooks Avenue, north of the community of Lindsay.

Garcia is described as an being 5’09,” 170, with grey hair and full grey beard. He was last seen wearing a red polo shirt and black pants.

A picture of Garcia can be found at the following location:  http://www.tularesheriff.info/missingperson_garcia.html


Any information should call the Tulare County Sheriff's Department at (559) 733-6218 or 1-800-808-0488.

UPDATE:

On 09/19/2012 a neighbor of missing person Felix Garcia reported that Tuesday, 09/18/2012 at about 11:00 am, Garcia came to his residence and asked for a ride to the airport so he could fly back to Mexico. The neighbor gave Garcia a ride to LA International Airport and dropped him off there. Detectives were able to confirm this and are working with LAPD and airport personnel to locate Garcia or track where he may have gone.

Garcia is described as being 5’09,” 170, with grey hair and full grey beard. He was last seen wearing a red polo shirt and black pants.

A picture of Garcia can be found at the following location:  http://www.tularesheriff.info/missingperson_garcia.html


Any information should call the Detective Rod Klassen at (559) 733-6218 or 1-800-808-0488.

 

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
Update--187PC-Murder***Autopsy Results****
LOCATION:  900 block N. Laurel- Lindsay          DATE:  09-14-12          TIME:  0714hrs
CASE NUMBER:  12-12114         VICTIM:  Michael Avalos, 20 years old          CITY:  Lindsay

UPDATE:

On Tuesday, September 18, 2012 an autopsy was conducted on the victim’s remains. The cause of death was determined to be multiple stab wounds to the neck and upper chest and blunt force trauma to the head.

Anyone information should call Detective Frank Zaragoza at (559) 733-6211 or send anonymous information by calling, emailing or sending a text message to TCSO@tipnow.com or 1-800-TIPNOW.

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
UPDATE TO HOMICIDE
LOCATION:  900 block N. Laurel          DATE:  9-14-12          TIME:  0714 hrs
CASE NUMBER:  12-12101          VICTIM:  Michael Avalos          CITY:  Lindsay

Narrative:

On 09/15/12 The Tulare County Sheriff's Department Violent Crimes Unit obtained a “No bail” arrest warrant for Joshua Stepp, 23 years old, from Lindsay CA, for the murder of Michael Avalos.  

 

On Sunday, 09/16/12, 4:24 am pacific time, Joshua Stepp was arrested at an Amtrak station in Kansas City Missouri on the outstanding arrest warrant. The U.S. Marshal’s Western District of Missouri Task Force located Stepp while he was disembarking from a train. He was arrested without incident. Stepp was turned over to detectives from the Kansas City Police Department and then booked into the Jackson County Detention Facility where he will be held, pending extradition to Tulare County.

 

Anyone with information should call Detective Frank Zaragoza or Detective Steve Sanchez at (559) 733-6211 or send anonymous information by calling, emailing or sending a text message to TCSO@tipnow.com or 1-800-TIPNOW.

Mugshots available on Sheriff' Flickr page at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tularecountysheriff/sets/72157631544204808/

For full details of the initial murder investigation see the Tulare County Sheriff's Department website at: http://www.tularesheriff.info/news.php

 

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
11377 HS-Possession of a Controlled Substance
LOCATION:  Road 128/First Dr          DATE:  09-15-12          TIME:  1859 Hrs
CASE NUMBER:  12-12157         VICTIM:  State of California          CITY:  Cutler

On 09-15-12 at approximately 1959 hours deputies from the Orosi Substation contacted Gerardo Jijon-Pioquinto at the intersection of Rd. 128 and First Dr. During contact with the suspect he was found in possession of a glass smoking pipe with methamphetamine inside.  Jijon was taken into custody on charges of possession of a controlled substance, H&S 11377 and booked into the Tulare County Main Jail.

 

The case is currently under investigation by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.

 

Taken into custody were: 

Gerardo Jijon-Pioquinto age 23.

 

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
11377 HS-Possession of a Controlled Substance
LOCATION:  Road 128/Ave 408          DATE:  09-14-12          TIME:  2141 Hrs
CASE NUMBER:  12-12127         VICTIM:  State of California          CITY:  Cutler

On 09-14-12 at approximately 2141 hours deputies from the Orosi Substation conducted a traffic stop in the area of Rd. 128 and Ave. 408 of a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed.  Once the traffic stop was made at the intersection of Rd. 128 and Ave 408 deputies found the driver of the vehicle, Gerardo Villicana, in possession of what appeared to be methamphetamine.  Villicana was taken into custody on charges of possession of a controlled substance, H&S 11377 and booked into the Tulare County Main Jail.

 

The case is currently under investigation by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.

 

Taken into custody were: 

Gerardo Villicana

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
UPDATE: Suspicious Death Investigation, Lindsay Area
LOCATION:  Avenue 224 near road 236, Lindsay          DATE:  09-14-12          TIME: 
CASE NUMBER:  12-12101         VICTIM:  Unidentified Male          CITY:  Unknown

UPDATED TO HOMICIDE:
INCIDENT TYPE: 187 PC Murder
LOCATION:  900 block N. Laurel CITY: Lindsay DATE:  9-14-12     TIME:  0714 hrs CASE NUMBER:  12-12101 VICTIM:  Michael Avalos, 20 years old, Lindsay


On the above date and time Deputies responded to a call of a suspicious missing person. The victim, Michael Avalos, was last seen on his front porch on 9/14/2012 at 0130 hours. At 0714 hours Avalos’ mother called the Sheriff’s Department and reported Avalos was not home and blood and the victim’s cell phone were found in the front yard of his residence. Violent Crimes detectives were called to investigate.

During the investigation, it was discovered the victim was last with S- Joshua Stepp, 23 years old, from Lindsay, and S-Nathan Hunt, 22 years old from Lindsay, next door at Hunt’s residence until about 0230 hours. There was blood located in Hunt’s front yard as well.

As the missing person investigation was underway, at 1245 hours, a rancher reported he had located a burnt vehicle with burnt human remains in his orchard at Ave 224 and Road 236, several miles southeast of Lindsay.  The vehicle came back registered to S-Stepp. The body was later identified as that of the victim, Michael Avalos.

Avalos had been stabbed in front of Hunt’s residence and transported to the orchard where and the vehicle had been set on fire. The stabbing is believed to be gang related. Avalos was a former gang member.

Hunt was arrested at his residence without incident. He was booked at the Main Jail for murder and accessory to murder after the fact. Stepp is also a former gang member. He is currently wanted for investigation of murder and should be considered armed and dangerous. 

Search warrants were served in the 19700 block of Road 231 in Strathmore and in the 600 block of N. Homassel in Lindsay. Stepp’s mother, Sandra Stepp, 58 years old, Lindsay was arrested without incident at her residence in the 600 block of  N. Homassel for accessory to murder after the fact and arson.

Anyone information should call Detective Frank Zaragoza at (559) 733-6211 or send anonymous information by calling, emailing or sending a text message to TCSO@tipnow.com or 1-800-TIPNOW.

Mugshots available on Sheriff' Flickr page at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tularecountysheriff/sets/72157631544204808/

 

PRIOR:
On 09-14-2012, at 1245 hours, the Tulare County Sheriff's Department was notified by a rancher he had located the burnt out remains of a vehicle with possible human remains inside.  Sheriff's Department personnel responded and located the unidentified remains of a male victim within the vehicle. 

Violent Crimes detectives are investigating the case.  Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Detective Frank Zaragoza at 559-733-6218, 1-800-808-0488, or tcso@tipnow.com.

 
...posted by Media relations
*****
11358 HS - Marijuana Cultivation
LOCATION:  40500 block of Road 40          DATE:  09-12-12          TIME:  2000 Hrs
CASE NUMBER:  12-12026         VICTIM:  State of California          CITY:  Kingsburg

On 9-12-12 at approximately 2000hrs. Tulare County Sheriff Deputies responded to an address in the 40500 block of Rd. 40 in Kingsburg regarding a Marijuana grow. Upon arrival Deputies observed two large marijuana trees near the front of the residence visible from the roadway. 

 

Deputies contacted the home occupant a 30 year old Hispanic male. The subject advised the marijuana plants belonged to him and he cultivated them for medical purposes. However the subject did not have a medical marijuana license for the plants. 

 

The plants were eradicated. The plants were capable of producing 5 to 10 pounds of processed marijuana once cultivated, with an estimated street value of $15,000 to $25,000 dollars.   

 

Suspect: 30 year old Hispanic male adult not in custody pending further investigation. 

 

The case remains under investigation by the Tulare County Sheriff Department. 

 

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
487 PC- Grand Theft, 594 PC-Felony Vandalism, 120221.1 PC- Committing a crime while on bail
LOCATION:  Ave 144/Road 208          DATE:  9-13-12          TIME:  0430 Hrs
CASE NUMBER:  12-12033         VICTIM:  David Roberts          CITY:  Porterville

On 09-13-12 at 0430 hours, deputies responded to the intersection of Ave 144 & Road 208, Porterville to the North West corner for two subjects who were in the process of removing copper wire from a private property power pole which belonged to the victim. After contacting the victim by telephone, he stated nobody had permission to be removing copper wire from his property. 

During the investigation, it was learned that both suspects in this case, Ricky Hauk and Daniel Wilson are currently out on bail for previous crimes. Both suspects are being charged with Grand Theft, Felony Vandalism and for committing a crime while out on bail. Both suspects were booked at the Porterville substation with bail set at $45,000.

 

Taken into custody were:

S1: Hauk, Ricky 35 yrs, Porterville

S2: Wilson, Daniel 37 yrs, Porterville

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
487 PC-Grand Theft, 33215 PC- Possession of a short barreled rifle
LOCATION:  Ave 178/Orange Belt          DATE:  09-12-12          TIME:  1730 hrs
CASE NUMBER:  12-12027         VICTIM:  Kevin Gibson          CITY:  Porterville

On 09-12-12 at approximately 1930 hours, deputies responded to the area of 20100 block of Road 244 Strathmore, where the victim had located 240 bales of stolen hay which belonged to him. The victim reported the hay bales were taken from his property, located in the 23500 block of Ave 178, Porterville on property he currently farms. The victim estimated the loss to be $2,880. The victim told the investigating deputy, he was able to identify who had transported the hay to the location on Road 244 due to the close knit community of the hay industry.

During the investigation, the subject who originally purchased the hay was contacted at his residence, in the 20100 block of Road 244, Strathmore.  The subject was cooperative and stated he contacted the resident nearest the hay bales on Ave 178, to find out if they were for sale or who the rightful owner was. The occupant of the residence, Chris Barker claimed ownership of the hay and sold the subject the bales for $5 per bale, when the hay is currently selling for $12 per bale. Chris Barker did not own the hay and did not have permission to sale the hay. Chris Barker was taken into custody at his residence after being positively identified by the buyer, for Grand Theft and for being in possession of a sawed off rifle, which was located at his residence during a search. Chris Barker was arrested and booked at the Porterville substation.

All of the hay was accounted for at the site and will be returned to the victim on 09-13-12. 

If you have any further information in regards to this crime or any other crime, please contact the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department or the anonymous tip line at tcso.tipnow.com. This case is still under further investigation by Tulare County Sheriff’s Department. 

 

Taken into custody were:

Chris Barker 35 yrs, Porterville

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
Assault with a deadly weapon
LOCATION:  900 block of E. Orange, Porterville          DATE:  9-8-12          TIME:  2316
CASE NUMBER:  12-11831         VICTIM:  2 males, 20 and 27 years of age          CITY:  Porterville

On the above date and time Deputies responded to a call of a gun shot victim in the 900 block of E. Orange, Porterville. Deputies arrived on scene and found 2 victims suffering from gun shot wounds to the upper body.

During the investigation it was discovered that the victim #1 was visiting V #2. They were in the front yard when a group of male subjects approached on foot. Two of the suspects began firing at the victims. Both were struck in the upper body with shot gun rounds. Both victims were transported to area hospitals. Victim #1 underwent surgery and is currently in stable condition. Vitim #2 was treated and released. One of the victims is associated with a gang and the shooting does appear to be gang related. The case remains under investigation.

Anyone information should call Detective Joe Torres at (559) 733-6211 or send anonymous information by sending a text message or email to TCSO@tipnow.com or call 1-800-TIPNOW.  

 
...posted by media relations
*****
245 PC, 2800.2 PC 148 PC
LOCATION:  32400 blk of Rd 156-Ivanhoe          DATE:  09-10-12          TIME:  2030
CASE NUMBER:  12-11921         VICTIM:           CITY: 

(S) Anthony Ramirez 5-31-78
245 PC, 2800.2 PC 148 PC

On 9-10-12 at about 2030 hrs, Tulare County Deputies responded to an address in the 32400 block of Rd 156 regarding a subject requesting assistance. Investigation revealed the suspect was hallucinating and under the influence of narcotics. The suspect was inside a large SUV vehicle and rammed a fence to escape the area. The suspect was pursued to the area of Rd 160 and Walter Ave in Ivanhoe where the vehicle collided with a light pole a tree and fence. The suspect was apprehended without additional incident.
Case is under investigation by the Tulare County Sheriffs Department.

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
Multi Agency Agricultural CrimeS Detail Completed
LOCATION:  Various          DATE:  09-2012          TIME: 
CASE NUMBER:  Various         VICTIM:           CITY:  Various

Due to the high number of thefts involving copper wire throughout Tulare County, The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office conducted a three week long special detail.  This detail involved detectives and personnel from the Tulare County Sheriff’s Agricultural Crimes Unit, Kern County Agricultural Crimes Unit, Tulare County Sheriff’s Community Based Officers, Tulare County Sheriff’s Tactical Enforcement Personnel and the Tulare County District Attorney’s office.

This detail focused on those rural areas hardest hit by thieves targeting local farmers and costing thousands of dollars in damage and repairs, as well as the recycling centers where the stolen material is being sold. The rural area was within Avenue 96 to Avenue 200 and Road 192 to the Kings County Line.  This area was chosen based on crime statistics mapping for the month of June, July and August of 2012.

During this detail three operational phases were conducted.  Phase one consisted of saturation details, patrolling the areas and making contacts and traffic stops in these areas.  Phase two consisted of undercover details and intelligence gathering.  Phase three consisted of compliance checks of the recycling centers.

The following statistics are the results of this detail:
15 people were arrested on fresh charges,
9 people were arrested for misdemeanor warrants,
1 person was arrested for an outstanding felony warrant,
5 people were issued citations for various offenses,
9 vehicles were towed,
130 people were contacted and field interviewed,
56 suspicious vehicles were checked,
Over 150 traffic stops were conducted,
And approximately 20 recycle centers were contacted.

Of those subjects arrested:
5 people were arrested for being under the influence of narcotics,
1 person was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol,
2 people were arrested for felony possession of narcotics,
6 recycle business owners or employees were arrested for felony and misdemeanor charges relating to illegally purchasing copper wire belonging to a Public Utility company, failure to maintain proper record of transactions, failure to maintain certified scale, and failure to have required Weigh-Master license to purchase specified materials.

Arrested:
Michael Murch, age 59 of Pixley, HS 11377 (Possession of a controlled substance).
Rafael Carranza, age 31 Tipton, HS 11550 (Under the influence of a controlled substance).
Mary Rocha, age55 of Porterville, HS 11550 (Under the influence of a controlled substance).
Jesus Venegas, age 22 of Earlimart, HS 11550 (Under the influence of a controlled substance).
Luis Orduno Torres, age 23 of Pixley, HS 11378 (Possession of a controlled substance for sale).
Manuel Garcia, age 47 of Porterville, PC 496a(a) (Illegal purchase of public utility wire).
Armie Agustin, age 40 of Porterville, PC 496a(a) (Illegal purchase of public utility wire).
Jose Baltazar, age 46 of Porterville, PC 496a(a) (Illegal purchase of public utility wire).
Jose Hernandez, age 44 of Porterville, PC 496a(a) (Illegal purchase of public utility wire).
Arturo Cabrera, age 45 of Porterville, PC 496a(a) (Illegal purchase of public utility wire).
Jimmy Ansiel, age 42 of Visalia, HS 11550 (Under the influence of a controlled substance).
Ismael Romero, age 36 of Porterville, HS 11550 (Under the influence of a controlled substance).
Jose Carranza, age 33 of Teviston, HS 11550 (Under the influence of a controlled substance).
Juan Silva, age 39 of Tipton, HS 11550 (Under the influence of a controlled substance).
*Henry Sagastome, 27 yrs, Porterville, PC 496a(a) (Illegal purchase of public utility wire). Booked and released due to medical issues

Booking photos are available on the Sheriff’s Flickr page at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tularecountysheriff/sets/72157631469481768/

The following businesses were cited for Building and professions code violations:
Cosecha Recycling, Porterville, BP 21608 (A), 21601
AG Recycling, Porterville, BP 21608
Gutierrez Recycling, Porterville, BP 21606. BP 12702, BP 21608.5 x2
Lucas Recycling, Pixley, BP 21608, BP 21608.5
J’s Recycling, Pixley, BP 12703

The Sheriff’s Office urges everyone to report suspicious activity.  You can also send your information anonymously through the TipNow program.  Please text or call 559-725-4194. You can also  email your information to tcso@tipnow.com.

 

 
...posted by media relations
*****
Press Conference with Sheriff regarding Large Scale AG Detail
LOCATION:  Sheriff's Headquarters - 2404 W. Burrel, Visalia          DATE:  09-10-12          TIME:  1400 hrs
CASE NUMBER:  various         VICTIM:           CITY: 

A press conference is being held with Sheriff Bill Wittman and members of the Agricultural Crimes Investigations Unit in regards to a large scale detail that was conducted.  Additional information regarding the detail, photos and statistics will also be provided.  Please e-mail Sgt. Chris Douglass at cdouglass@co.tulare.ca.us to confirm attendance.

 
...posted by media relations
*****
460 PC- Burglary into an occupied structure
LOCATION:  38300 block of Road 140          DATE:  09-7-12          TIME:  0450 hrs
CASE NUMBER:  12-11828         VICTIM:  Dominga Munguia          CITY:  Yettem

On 09-08-12 at approximately 2106 hours deputies from the Orosi Substation responded to the area of the 38300 block of Rd. 140 for a report of an attempted theft of a marijuana plant. Once on scene deputies were advised of a home invasion and theft of approximately 30 marijuana plants on the day prior.  The incident occurred on Friday, 09-07-12 at approximately 0450 hrs, and the victim’s residence was invaded by 5 unknown suspects.  The victim was bound and left unharmed at the residence.  

 

The case is currently under investigation by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.

 

Taken into custody were: 

Suspects are unknown

 

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
Sheriff's patrol aircraft takes precautionary landing
LOCATION:  Eckert Field, near Strathmore          DATE:  09-07-12          TIME:  1330 hrs
CASE NUMBER:           VICTIM:           CITY: 

On 9/7/12 at 1:30 PM the Sheriff's fixed-wing patrol aircraft experience an intermittent power loss, requiring a precautionary landing at the Eckert Field airport in southern Tulare County near Strathmore. After inspection of the aircraft it was determined that there was a discrepancy in the visual fuel level indicator. This inaccurate reading indicated there was more fuel than was actually in the aircraft.  This caused the intermittent power loss due to lack of fuel.

Fuel was provided and the aircraft resumed their patrol duties.

There was no damage or injuries in the landing.

 
...posted by media relations
*****
PC 273.6/ PC 148(a)
LOCATION:  1600 block Avenue 400 Kingsburg          DATE:  09-07-12          TIME:  0945HRS
CASE NUMBER:  12-11760         VICTIM:  31 year old female          CITY: 

On 9/07/2012 at 0945 hours deputies responded to the 1600 block of Avenue 400 in Kingsburg, regarding a report of a violation of a domestic violence restraining order. The reporting party advised (S)Gonzalez was on the premises.  (S)Gonzalez has an active domestic violence restraining order which prevents him from coming onto the property and or contacting the victim.  Upon the deputies arrival, (S)Gonzalez fled on foot and hid in an adjacent vineyard.  A sheriff’s department K9 was utilized and (S)Gonzalez surrendered with no further incident. (S)Gonzalez was arrested at the scene and booked at the Tulare County Main Jail on the above listed charges.

The case is currently under investigation by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.

Taken into custody were:     Gonzalez, Theodore  32 year old

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
Marijuana Eradication Details in Alpaugh
LOCATION:  Alpaugh area          DATE:  09-06-12          TIME: 
CASE NUMBER:  multiple         VICTIM:  State of CA          CITY:  Alpaugh

On the 9/6/12 detectives from the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office S.T.E.P. Unit concluded a two month long investigation into the cultivation and possession for sale of marijuana. At 0700 hrs on the above date detectives responded to several locations in the Alpaugh area for the service of search warrants on several large marijuana grow sites.


Upon arrival detectives contacted the below listed suspects who were found to be growing marijuana under the guise of it being medicinal, The investigation found that the marijuana was being grown for sales to marijuana dispensaries in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas.


5500 block of McNeely Rd., Alpaugh
S-1 Arnold Mendoza Bedancura, 30 yoa,  Out of Pixley, HS 11358/ 11359/ PC 488
S-2 Rogelio Cazares Serna, 36 yoa, Out of Mcfarland, HS 11358/ 11359/ PC488
S-3 Enrique Enciso Ontiveros, 22 yoa, Out of Bend Oregon, HS 11358/ 11359/ PC 488
S-4 Isidro Ontiveros, 47 yoa, Out of Delano, HS 11358/ 11359/ PC 488
S-5 Jesus Velincia, 33 yoa, Out of Alpaugh, HS 11358/ 11359/ PC 488
S-6 Fabian Pinoca, 45 yoa, 58, out of LA area, HS 11358/ 11359/ PC 488

Detectives responded to this location and found several large plywood enclosures adjacent to a residential area. The above listed suspects were contacted and were found to be cultivating marijuana for sales. They were also found to be stealing water from a nearby irrigation canal using several water pumps to supple the grow site. Detectives eradicated 410 fully mature marijuana plants that were ready for harvest. The 410 marijuana plants weighed in excess of 1800 pounds.

 4600 block of Ave. 56, Alpaugh 
S-1 Wilson Moreno, 21 yoa, Out of Oakland, Ca.
S-2 Pedro Osorio-Villeda, 35 yoa, Out of Riverside, Ca.
S-3 Jesus Flores, 64 yoa, Out of Alpaugh
S-4 Abel Parra, 65, yoa Out of Alpaugh
S-5 Daniel Parra, 19 yoa, Out of Alpaugh
S-6 Herlindo Parra, 53 yoa, Out of Alpaugh

Detectives responded to this location and found three large plywood enclosures adjacent to a residential area. The above listed suspects were contacted and were found to be cultivating marijuana for sales. Detectives eradicated 257 fully mature marijuana plants, plants were guarded by several vicious Pit Bulls that were contained in dog runs around the actual grow sites.


It should be noted that the commonly accepted yield for an outdoor marijuana plant for court purposes is one pound per mature plant, however the plants at these locations could easily have yielded 2 to 3 pounds of marijuana of high grade marijuana bud per plant. If each plant yielded one pound the street value of the marijuana produced would be approx. $4,000 per pound, more when shipped out of state.
It has become common for Drug Trafficking Organizations to hide behind California’s poorly written medical marijuana laws which do not limit the number of plants a person can have.  Issuing doctors charge by how many plants the grower wants listed on the recommend. California does not have a central register of who is growing marijuana at what locations. Large Drug Trafficking Organizations set-up these “Plywood Grows” on farmlands around the valley. They make multiple copies of marijuana recommends, paying top dollar to have doctors endorse the recommend for 99 plants, then scatter them around many grow sites where local law enforcement officer’s investigating have no mechanism to check if the recommend might be posted in other areas. By hiding behind the loosely written California medicinal marijuana laws, officer are forced to do extensive, time consuming, investigations to get past the medical defense and prove criminal cases against suspects. Detectives have found that some large land owners are renting out 1 to 5 acre portions of their property for up to $25,000 for out of the area growers to cultivate marijuana for the Southern California market.

Due to the excessive amount of marijuana present all plants were eradicated and the above suspects arrested. All suspects were transported and booked without incident at the Tulare County Jail. Local Alpaugh residents have called in to report that large plywood fences were being put up at several locations in the area and they feared subjects growing marijuana would bring violence into the area.

This case and several others in the Alpaugh area are still under investigation by the TCSO STEP Unit.

 

Photos of scene are posted on Sheriff's Flickr page at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tularecountysheriff/sets/72157631459043054/

 
...posted by Media relations
*****
Armed Robbery in Terra Bella
LOCATION:  19100 block of Avenue 96          DATE:  09-05-12          TIME:  1413 hrs
CASE NUMBER:  12-11678         VICTIM:  Local business          CITY:  Terra Bella

On 09-05-2012 at approximately 1413 hours, a Hispanic male adult entered the business located at the 19100 block of Ave 96, brandished a rifle and took an undetermined amount of money.  The man then left the store.  The man was described as approximately 30 years of age wearing a blue striped shirt and dark pants.  The suspect was also seen driving a dark extended cab truck, possibly and early 2000 model Ford.


This case is currently under investigation.


Anyone with information regarding this case in encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 800-808-0488.  You may also provide information anonymously through the Sheriff’s TipNow Program.  You can leave a voicemail or text your information to 559-725-4194 or e-mail tcso@tipnow.com.

 
...posted by media relations
*****
Shooting in Poplar area
LOCATION:  Road 208 and Avenue 152          DATE:  09-05-12          TIME: 
CASE NUMBER:  12-11682         VICTIM:  Confidential          CITY:  Confidential

UPDATE:
The victim, a juvenile 16 year old male, is in stable condition.  The victim was standing in a yard on the 14500 block of Tobias, in Poplar, when a vehicle drove by and multiple shots were fired.  The victim was struck in the abdomen and was being transported by private vehicle.  The victim's transport met with an ambulance at  Road 208 and Avenue 152.  The drive by vehicle was described as a 1991/1992 red Honda Accord four door.

PRIOR:
On 09-05-2012 at approximately 1449 hours, the Tulare County Sheriff's Office received a call of a possible drive by shooting.  Deputies responded to the scene and were also advised the victim was being transported by private vehicle to a local area hospital. 

Detectives from the Violent Crimes and Forensic Invetigations Units were called to investigate the case.  Detectives have learned that the victim was standing outside when a vehicle drove by and shots were fired.  Information was also learned this shooting may be gang related.

This case is currently under investigation.  Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Sheriff's Office at 800-808-0488.  You may also send your information anonymously through text or voicemail to 559-725-4194 or e-mail tcso@tipnow.com.

 
...posted by media relations
*****
One in custody for weapons charges
LOCATION:  Ave 308 and Road 64          DATE:  09-04-12          TIME:  1904 hrs
CASE NUMBER:  12-11642         VICTIM:  State of CA          CITY:  Goshen

(S) Luis Delgado 18 yrs old - Goshen

On 9-4-12 at about 1904 hrs. a Tulare County Sheriff's Community Based Deputy was in the area of Ave 308 and Rd 64 in Goshen.  As the deputy made consensual contact with  the subject, he noticed a suspicious item protruding from his waistband. The deputy conducted a cursory search based on his observations  Upon doing so, the suspect was found to be in possession of a loaded firearm. The Deputy took the suspect into custody without any further incident. The firearm was found to be a loaded .22 caliber revolver loaded with 9 rounds. The suspect was later booked at the Tulare County Main Jail on various weapons charges.  During the investigation, Delgado advised he was an active gang member during the routine booking process.

 

 
...posted by media relations
*****
Mail Theft Arrest
LOCATION:  2700 Ave 138          DATE:  9-1-12          TIME:  1130 hrs
CASE NUMBER:           VICTIM:  Multiple          CITY:  Porterville

9-1-12 / 1130 hrs

Deputies were dispatched to a mail theft in progress at 2700 Ave 138, Porterville.

Deputies arrived and were advised a vehicle occupied by two suspects was seen taking mail from the victim’s mail box and a neighbor’s mail box.  The victim’s provided a license number for the vehicle, which returned to the Ducor area.

Deputies located the suspect vehicle at a residence in Ducor.  Deputies contacted and arrested Isaias Hernandez and Tasha Guillermo for outstanding warrants.  A subsequent search of the vehicle and residence resulted in the recovery of stolen mail.

At this time 35 victim of mail theft and 24 victims of identity theft have been identified.

Both Isaias Hernandez and Tasha Guillermo were booked into jail at the Porterville substation.

Anyone with information related to this case should contact the Tulare County Sheriff's Department at 559-733-6218. 

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
Missing Hunter
LOCATION:  Shaeffer Mountian Sequoia National Forest          DATE:  09012012          TIME: 
CASE NUMBER:  12-11522         VICTIM:  Gutherie, Michael          CITY:  Ridgecrest, CA

On 9-1-12 a Search and Rescue operation was started by members of the Tulare County Sheriff's Department in an effort to locate a missing hunter in the Schaeffer Mountain area of the Sequoia National Forest. The missing, Michael Gutherie, had been separated and become lost from his hunting partner. On 9-2-12 additional Sheriff's Department personnel as well as members from the Sequoia Mountain Rescue team joined the search. The missing male was located in the morning hours of the second day. He was uninjured and appeared in good spirits.

Detective Mike Yandell

Tulare County Sheriff's Department

Gang Violence Suppression Unit

Office - 737-4504

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
273.5 PC Domestic Battery, 26100 PC Possession of a loaded firearm
LOCATION:  6900 block of Road 136          DATE:  9-1-12          TIME:  0430 Hrs
CASE NUMBER:  12-11479         VICTIM:  Confidential          CITY:  Earlimart

On 9-1-12 at approximately 0430 hours Deputies were dispatched to a domestic dispute in the 6900 block of Road 136 in Earlimart.  Upon arrival Deputies contacted the victim who said her boyfriend physically assaulted her with his fist.  The victim displayed injuries consistent with her statement.  The suspect was identified as Jose Ramon Lopez (21 years old) of Delano.  The suspect fled the scene and was later apprehended by allied Officers from the Delano Police Department.

 

During the investigation, Deputies were given consent and searched the vehicle driven by Lopez. Deputies seized a firearm, which was found in a hidden compartment.  Lopez was arrested and booked into County Jail without incident for domestic violence & various weapons violations. 

 

 

The case remains under investigation by TCSO.     

     

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
245 PC/Assault w/a Deadly Weapon, 246 PC/Shooting into an occupied structure
LOCATION:  12900 block of Risely          DATE:  08-31-12          TIME:  1923 hrs
CASE NUMBER:  12-11463         VICTIM:  23 yr old male and 16 yr old male          CITY:  Orosi

 

On 08-31-12 at 1923 hrs Patrol Deputies from the Orosi Sub Station responded to the 12900 block of Risely Dr. in Orosi in response to a reported shooting at that location. Upon arrival they found two victims suffering from gunshot wounds.  The Sheriff’s Gang Violence Suppression Unit assisted in the investigation. Subsequent investigation found the two males were shot at by a passing vehicle. Both males sustained non-life threatening injuries and were treated at Kaweah  Delta Medical Center and released later that evening. 

 

Case currently under investigation by the North End Gang Violence Suppression 

 

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
Large scale medicinal marijuana eradication
LOCATION:  27600 Block of Avenue 146, Porterville          DATE:  8-30-12          TIME: 
CASE NUMBER:  12-70115         VICTIM:  State of CA          CITY:  Porterville

Update:
Final Totals from the search warrant have been calsulated as follows:
2554 Marijuana plants
32.0 lbs or processed marijuana
18.3 grams of methamphetamine
24.0 grams of tar heroin
(5) dumptrucks and (2) large dump trailers were utilized, these vehicles made a total of (36) trips to the destruction site and disposed of marijuana weighin 98,340 pounds

A secondary search warrant was served on an neighboring property during this time period.  This warrant was served under case #12-60815 on the west adjoining property. An arrest was made of Herlindo Reyes age 35 or Porterville.  A total of 152 marijuana plants were seized at this location also.

Prior Release:
After an approximate one month investigation into illegal narcotic activity, a search warrant was served at the 26700 Block of Avenue 146 in Porterville.  The warrant was served on 08-30-2012 at 0700 hours.  This site contained numerous plots where medicinal marijuana was being grown.  The sizes of some of the plants were over fifteen feet in height with stocks over four inches in diameter. 
“We have been in gardens where there are more plants and it may take longer to eradicate, but the sheer size of what we are facing today is a challenge on its own.” stated Sergeant Steve Kennedy from the Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit.

Approximately 2,554 marijuana plants were located in the numerous plots on this property. Due to the quantity and size of the plants, heavy machinery was brought in to assist in the eradication of the grow site. Chainsaws, shears and various other cutting utensils were only able to be used on some of the plants and dulled quickly.  Over 30 Sheriff’s Office personnel were on site to eradicate the plants.  The Sheriff’s Office also requested assistance from the County Resource Management Agency for additional machinery and dump trucks to remove the plants. Supervisor Mike Ennis also responded to the site to view some of the work these teams have to do in order to remove these sites from the communities in which they effect. 

“We were very fortunate to have the assistance we did, or this site would have taken more than one day to eradicate.” Sergeant Chris Douglass shared.  “These men and woman put in a lot of hard manual labor in these high temperatures to get rid of these public nuisances. They do this multiple times per week and have hundreds more sites identified that still need eradication.”

Sergeant Jim Franks supervises the Sheriff’s Tactical Enforcement Personnel (STEP) Team who is responsible for marijuana eradication details in Tulare County rural areas.  His team receives numerous tips from the community regarding locations were medicinal marijuana is being grown out of compliance with the county ordinance.  Earlier this week, his team served the first Summary Abatement Warrant for Tulare County, ordering a site be eradicated due to zoning and code compliance issues.  The Sheriff’s Office encourages people to provide information regarding these sites.  The STEP team uses this information to determine the type of investigations that need to be done and if these sites can be linked or connected to large drug trafficking organizations. Some sites, like this one may take months to conduct a thorough investigation and make an arrest.

Ten people were arrested in connection with this site.  During the search methamphetamine and heroin were also located.

Under normal situations, it is estimated that one marijuana plant could produce over one pound of useable product.  Average street value is approximately $3000 dollars per pound and could be more if shipped out of state.  The plants eradicated from this site had the potential street value of over $7,662,000.00.  With plants the size found at this location, that number would be even higher.

The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank all of the resources, staff and community members that helped in eradicating this site.  If anyone has information regarding this case they are encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 800-808-0488.  You can also provide your information anonymously through the tip now program by text or voicemail to 559-725-4194 or email tcso@tipnow.com.

Videos of eradication are available on the Sheriff's YouTube Channel at:
http://www.youtube.com/user/TulareCountySheriff?feature=mhee
Photos of eradication are available on the Sheriff's Flicker page at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tularecountysheriff

Suspects Age City Charges:
Alejandro Rodriguez 33yrs Orosi 11358HS
Efrain Zavala 56yrs Porterville 11358HS
Victor Chavez 27yrs Farmersville 11377HS, 11364HS
Martin Sierra 32yrs Passadena 11358HS
Neonel Vasquez 56yrs Orosi 11358HS
Julian Gallegos 64yrs Mexico 11358HS
Manuel Chavez 66yrs Porterville 11351HS, 11352.5HS, 11378HS, 11366HS, 182PC
Elana Chavez 59yrs Porterville 11351HS, 11352.5HS, 11366HS, 11358HS, 182PC
Pedro Briceno 61yrs Upland 11358HS

 
...posted by media relations
*****
Missing Adult
LOCATION:  30000 block of Holdridge Drive, Porterville          DATE:  08-24-12          TIME:  1400 hrs
CASE NUMBER:  12-11089         VICTIM:  Gerald Noble, age 23          CITY:  Porterville

On 8-24-12 at approx 1400 hours, Deputies with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department, Porterville Station, were contacted regarding a missing person, Gerald Noble, who walked away from his residence after a verbal argument with his parents.  Noble is considered an at risk missing adult. Noble was last seen leaving his parents residence, which is located in the 30000 block of Holdridge Dr in the Porterville area.  Noble was last seen wearing blue jeans, tennis shoes and unknown color of shirt. Noble is 23 three years old, 6'04" in height, weighs 170 pound, with brown hair and green eyes.

 

Detectives with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department are currently investigating Noble’s disappearance as an endangered missing adult. Noble is believed to be on foot with no means of transportation. Noble has no previous pattern of running away or disappearing.

 

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Det. Rich Ramirez or Sgt. Hunt at (559) 733-6218 in reference to TCSO Case # 12-11089.

 

Photos of Gerald Noble are available on the Sheriff's Flicker page at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tularecountysheriff/sets/72157631313198278/

 
...posted by media relations
*****
Marijuana Eradication Detail
LOCATION:  33300 Block of Road 156, Ivanhoe          DATE:  08-28-12          TIME: 
CASE NUMBER:  12-60819         VICTIM:  State of CA          CITY:  Ivanhoe, CA

On July 18, 2012 Tulare County Code Compliance personnel made contact with the residnece at the 33300 Block of Road 156 in Ivanhoe regarding a sheet metal fence that was out of code.  The fencing was too high.  Upon making contact it was discovered marijuana was also being grown at this site and it was not in compliance with County zoning.  A ten day compliance notice was issued to the resident to remove the structure and marijuana.

The property was not brought within compliance and the County was able to obtain a Summary Abatement Warrant ordering the eradication of the marijuana and take down of the structure.  This warrant was based off of three factors, the marijuana being cultivated out of compliance , the structure built out of code and the incorrect zoning for the cultivation.  These codes were put in place for the protection of the communities and the growers who choose to operate legally.

Detectives also learned this site was visited by a person posing as an officer  for a compliance check as well.  Detectives believe this may be another situation where criminals may be posing as officer to gain access and see what security measures are being taken in order to gain access and steal the plants at a later date.

On 08-28-2012, over 300 plants were eradicated from this site.  If allowed to mature, each plant could produce over one pound of marijuana with a total street value in excess of $1,200,000.

This case is still under investigation.  Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Sheriff's Office at 800-808-0488.

Videos of eradication are available on the Sheriff's YouTube Channel at:
http://www.youtube.com/user/TulareCountySheriff?feature=mhee

Photos of eradication are available on the Sheriff's Flicker page at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tularecountysheriff/sets/72157631296406708/

 
...posted by media relations
*****
Suspicious death investigation
LOCATION:  Walnut Grove south of Ivanhoe Drive, East of Sol Road          DATE:  08-26-12          TIME:  1130
CASE NUMBER:  12-11187         VICTIM:  Daniel HOlguin, age 38          CITY:  Visalia

Update:
The autopsy has been concluded.  Cause of death is pending toxicology.

Prior Release:
On 08-26-2012 at approximately 1130 hrs, a passerby reported a body found located in a walnut grove south of Ivanhoe Drive, east of Sol Road.  The deceased body was identified as Daniel Holguin age 38 of Visalia.  Detectives from the Violent Crimes Unit were called out to investigate the case.  Currently the case is being investigated as a suspicious death as the decedent had some visible trauma.  An autopsy is scheduled for the afternoon of 08-27-2012.  An update will be issued when cause of death is determined.

Anyone with information regarding Daniel Holguin or this case is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 800-808-0488.  You may also provide information anonymously through text or voicemail to 559-725-4194 or email tcso@tipnow.com.

 
...posted by media relations
*****
Under the Influence in Possession of a firearm
LOCATION:  39700 block of Rd. 64          DATE:  08-25-2012          TIME:  1200
CASE NUMBER:  12-11183         VICTIM:  State of California          CITY: 

On 08-25-12 at approximately 1200 hours deputies from the Orosi substation contacted a suspect in the 39700 block of Road 64.  Upon contact with the suspect, it was determined he was under the influence of a controlled substance.  The suspect was also found to be in possession of a loaded and concealed firearm.  The suspect was taken into custody and booked at the Tulare County Main Jail with no further incident.

The case is currently under investigation by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.

Taken into custody were:

William E. Kawano a 38 year old male.

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
Update to homicide of Jorge Luis Nunez Ayon
LOCATION:           DATE:  03-29-12          TIME: 
CASE NUMBER:  12-03958         VICTIM:  Jorge Luis Nunez Ayon          CITY: 

On 3-29-12 at approx. 0824 hrs, Deputies were dispatched to an abandoned building located in the 24000 block of Ave 184, in the community of Strathmore, regarding a deceased subject.  Deputies arrived on scene and discovered a burning body.  The victim was subsequently transported to the Tulare County Morgue for an autopsy and investigation by the Violent Crimes Division. 

Update:  On 4-4-12, the burnt remains were identified as those belonging to Jorge Luis Nunez Ayon of the Bakersfield area.  The case is currently under investigation by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department. Anyone with information should contact Det. Frank Zaragoza or Sgt. Hunt at (559) 735-1898, or Tipnow by phone (559) 725-4194, or email: tcso@tipnow.com.



Update to homicide of Jorge Luis Nunez Ayon. Case number 12-03958. Date of incident: 03/29/2012. Location of Incident: Strathmore, CA

On 05/28/2012 at approximately 8:00 am Detectives contacted Parrish Jones (29 years old from Porterville CA) at a friend’s residence, in regards to 4 outstanding warrants and to speak to him in regards to this investigation. During the investigation it was learned that Jones was contacted by one of the suspects after Ayon had been killed, and assisted by helping burn the body and by destroying other evidence. He was booked without incident into the Porterville Substation on charges of 32/187 PC, Accessory to murder, a “No Bail” charge.

He was also booked on the four misdemeanor warrants for charges of being under the influence of a controlled substance and being in possession of drug paraphernalia. His bail on the warrants totaled $40,000.

Anyone with information on this case is encouraged to contact Det. Frank Zaragoza or Det. Steven Sanchez at (559) 735-1898, or anonymously using Tipnow by phone or text to (559) 725-4194, or by email: tcso@tipnow.com

A photo can be obtained from the Tulare County Main Jail.

See Tulare County Sheriff’s Department webpage for prior news releases on this incident: http://www.tularecounty.ca.gov/sheriff/



UPDATE:
Eric Jimenez, 28 year old,  (of Strathmore Ca.) was arraigned on 8-22-12 for the murder of V) Jorge Ayon. 

People in custody on this case are:

Matthew Campos, PC 187 Murder,  PC 12022 Use of a Firearm, PC 451 Arson, Pending court

Eric Jimenez, PC 187 Murder, Pending court

Raquel Espinoza, 32/187 PC Accessory to murder after the fact, Pending court

Parrish Jones, 32/187 PC Accessory to murder after the fact, Pending court

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
212.5 PC, 460 PC, 245 PC (robbery, burglary, assault)
LOCATION:  11100 block of Ave. 264 Visalia, Ca.          DATE:  8-22-12          TIME:  0615 hours
CASE NUMBER:  12-10969         VICTIM:           CITY:  Visalia, Ca

Victim 1: undisclosed male (55 years) Visalia
Victim 2: undisclosed male (34 years) Visalia

On 8-22-12 at about 6:15 am, an unknown male and female suspect entered a residence in the 11100 block of Ave. 264 in Visalia by assaulting a 55 year old resident at the front door.  Once inside, one of the suspects brandished a knife to keep the 55 year old at bay while the other suspect removed a small amount of undisclosed property.  The 34 year old resident was able to flee the residence through a window during the incident in an effort to call for help.  The suspects then fled the scene by unknown means.

The case remains under investigation by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Department at 559-733-6218 or you can remain anonymous by sending your information to tcso@tipnow.com or by texting to (559) 725-4194.

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
Officer Involved Shooting, Ducor Area
LOCATION:  Road 192 near Avenue 48          DATE:  08-21-12          TIME: 
CASE NUMBER:  12-10958         VICTIM:  N/A          CITY:  N/A

Update:

The deputy has been treated and released.  The driver of the vehicle has been identified as Nicholas Sanchez Ensaldo, age 52 of Mexico.  He was arrested for driving under the influence and an INS hold. The passenger is his son Orlando Garcia Ensaldo, age 30 of Mexico.  He is still being treated and will be booked for attempted homicide. Both were residing in the Richgrove area.

Prior release:

On 08-21-2012 at approximately 2044 hours, a Sheriff’s Deputy assigned to the Porterville Substation conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle in the Ducor area on Road 192 near Avenue 48.   Two Hispanic male adults occupied the vehicle.  During the traffic stop at approximately 2101 hours, one of the occupants attacked the deputy with a hatchet and a struggle began. During the struggle the deputy defended himself and discharged his firearm, striking the suspect.  Both parties were taken to the hospital for treatment.

The Deputy has been with the Sheriff’s Department since June of 2010.  He was also a prior employee of the Tulare County Probation Office.  The deputy has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

The Public Information Officer, Sergeant Chris Douglass, is in route to the area and as additional information is available, updates will be posted.  She can be contacted at cdouglass@co.tulare.ca.us or 559-735-1832.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 800-808-0488.  You may also report your information anonymously through the TipNow program.  Text or leave a voicemail at 559-725-4194 or e-mail tcso@tipnow.com.

 
...posted by media relations
*****
Home invasion & kidnap investigation in Tulare
LOCATION:  300 block of W. Wade Tulare          DATE:  08-21-12          TIME: 
CASE NUMBER:  12-10924         VICTIM:  confidential          CITY:  Tulare

Update #2:
Information has been received that there were approximately 5 to 6 suspects at the residence.  The suspects were described as Hispanic males ranging in age from 20 to early 30’s.  These subjects spoke English with some Spanish and were wearing dark BDU military style clothing.  One suspect was armed with a rifle while the others were armed with handguns.  The suspects were associated with a grey or white moving truck similar to a U-Haul and a green van, possibly a 1990’s style similar to a Chevrolet Astro van.  The suspects took an unknown amount of marijuana from the location.  Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office.

Update #1:
Information was obtained that the suspects had identified themselves as law enforcement upon entry into the home.  A badge was located at the scene.  The badge was not an official peace officer badge.

Prior Release:
On 08-21-2012 at approximately 0540 hours, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office received a call of a possible kidnap in progress.  Deputies responded to the area of the 300 block of W. Wade in Tulare and were advised several armed subjects had forced entry into a home.  Three male adults were in the residence at the time.  One subject was able to flee the residence on foot and contact law enforcement also.  The suspect’s fled the scene in a vehicle. One victim received minor injuries to the head and was treated on scene.

Medicinal marijuana was located at the residence and the Sheriff’s Marijuana Suppression Team is investigating this portion of the case.  Violent Crimes detectives are also investigating the home invasion and possible kidnap.

The investigation is active and when additional information and descriptions are available an update will be issued.

Anyone with information regarding this case in encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 800-808-0488.  You may also submit your tips anonymously through the Sheriff’s TipNow program.  Send your information by text or voicemail 559-725-4194 or e-mail tcso@tipnow .com.  Reference case # 12-10924.

 
...posted by media relations
*****
Six in Custody on Marijuana Eradication Detail
LOCATION:  9800 block of Road 256, Terra Bella          DATE:  08-20-12          TIME:  0700 hrs
CASE NUMBER:  12-60814         VICTIM:  State of CA          CITY:  Terra Bella

Suspects in custody:

1. Baltazar Rodriguez Zuniga, age 43 of Terra Bella

2. Carlos Adan Lupian, age 24 ofTerra Bella

3. Jose Guadalupe Rodriguez, age 18 of Terra Bella

4. Hector Quintero Mercado, age 34 of Mexico

5. Jose Guadalupe Zavala, age 32 of Mexico

6. Juan Carlos Perez Gonzalez, age 43 of Mexico

 

On 08-20-12 the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office S.T.E.P. Unit concluded one part of a three month investigation into a marijuana grow site in Terra Bella. S.T.E.P. detectives partnered with Federal Officers from the U.S. Forest Service to serve a search warrant and eradicate the grow sites at this location which were also tied to a large marijuana grow site in the National Forest.  Officers served a Federal Search warrant and detained the above listed suspects. Approximately 1,313 live marijuana plants were seized during the operation. If allowed to fully mature each of these plants would each yield in excess of one pound of usable marijuana bud with a street value over $3,000 per pound. 

 

In addition to the marijuana plants seized detectives also seized several firearms and ammunition for various pistols, rifles and shotguns.

 

This case is still under investigation by the TCSO STEP Unit.

 

Photos available on Sheriff’s Flickr page at:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tularecountysheriff/sets/72157631168509158/

 

Videos available on the Sheriff’s YouTube page at:

http://www.youtube.com/user/TulareCountySheriff/videos

 

 
...posted by media relations
*****
One in custody for identity theft
LOCATION:  400 block of S. Larson, Porterville          DATE:  08-17-12          TIME: 
CASE NUMBER:  12-04398         VICTIM:  Numerous          CITY:  Porterville

On 04-07-2012, deputies took a report of Identity Theft.  At that time, the suspect was identified as Philip Pontrelli (Later identified as John Ballard). 

During the investigation it was discovered that the suspect stole the identity of his girlfriend, and several of her family members.  He opened several checking accounts and obtained several credit cards under the stolen identities.

During the investigation the true identity of Philip Pontrelli was discovered to be John Ballard.  He was found to have an active felony warrant for Escape from the Colorado Department of Corrections.

On Friday, 08-17-2012, several detectives from the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department located and arrested John Ballard in the Porterville area without incident.  Ballard was booked into the Tulare County Porterville Sub Station for Identity Theft and for the active Colorado Warrant.

Anyone with information may contact Detective Joe Rodriguez at 559-782-9674

 
...posted by media relations
*****
Cultivation of Marijuana
LOCATION:  600 Blk of S. Spruce Exeter          DATE:  08/16/12          TIME: 
CASE NUMBER:  12-40114         VICTIM:  State of California          CITY: 

Suspect #1 Tammy Hudspeth       Female White

Suspect #2 Deborah Martinez      Female Hispanic

Suspect #3  Johnny Wiliam Martinez  Male Hispanic

Officers from the Exeter Police Department received a complaint of marijuana cultivation in the 600 Blk of S. Spruce Exeter. Investigators from the Inter Agency Narcotics Enforcement Team continued the investigation. A search warrant was served. The ensuing investigation and search revealed that the listed suspects were cultivating Marijuana under the guise for medicinal purposes and were taken into custody without incident. 434 marijuana plants in various stages of growth were eradicated. Had the marijuana been allowed to mature the estimated street value would have been $1,736,00.00. The investigation is continuing.

All suspects booked at their respective Tulare County Jail facilities on the listed charges.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Division/ INET  (559) 713-2950.

Photos available through the Main Jail.

 
...posted by dispatch
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