211 PC/ Armed Robbery
LOCATION:  30821 N HWY 99, VISALIA          DATE:  10-08-12          TIME:  0041
CASE NUMBER:  12-13235         VICTIM:  Goshen Arco          CITY: 

On Monday, 10-8-12, at approximately 0040 hours, three black male adults entered the Goshen Arco Gas Station and demanded money from the store clerk. One of the suspects was armed with a black handgun. The suspects possibly fled the scene in a light colored vehicle. No one was injured during the incident and the amount of loss is undetermined at this time. The case is currently under investigation.

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
Sheriff Bill Wittman to Promote New Sergeant
LOCATION:  2404 W. Burrel, Visalia          DATE:  10-08-2012          TIME:  1000 hrs
CASE NUMBER:           VICTIM:           CITY: 

Sheriff Bill Wittman will be holding a ceremony to promote Detective Frank Zaragoza to the rank of Sergeant on Monday, October 8, 2012 at 10:00 AM. The ceremony will be held at the Tulare County Sheriff's Headquarters Lobby. Friends and family will also be present to show their support.

Sergeant Frank Zaragoza was raised in the Los Angeles area and moved to Tulare County by the age of 18.  He attended College of the Sequoias, where he received an Associate of Science Degree in Administration of Justice and California State University in Fresno where he graduated with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Criminology. 

In June of 1999, he was hired by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office and started his career at the Bob Wiley Detention Facility.  After about 2 years, he transferred to Operations as a patrol deputy assigned to the Porterville Substation.

In 2004 he transferred to the Narcotics Unit where he was part of numerous State and Federal narcotic investigations that resulted in the apprehension of major drug traffickers.  Due to his efforts, he successfully disrupted drug trafficking organizations that were trying to embed themselves in the County.

By 2009, he was transferred to the Violent Crimes Unit where he succeeded in apprehending numerous suspects who were subsequently charged with murder.  While in the Violent Crimes Unit, he held an 80% murder solve rate which is higher than the states average of 60%.

Sergeant Zaragoza has been a part of the SWAT Team, Search and Rescue Team, Asset Forfeiture Unit, and the Clandestine Lab Unit. 

Sergeant Frank Zaragoza is supported in his new career path by his wife and child. Sheriff Bill Wittman offers his sincere congratulations to Sergeant Frank Zaragoza, and wishes him well in his new assignment at the Cutler-Orosi Substation supervising patrol operations. The public is welcome to join the department, friends and family in the Sheriff's Headquarters Lobby Monday, October 8, 2012 at 10:00 AM to celebrate the promotion.

Refreshments to follow.


Photograph and Flyer available on Sheriff's Flickr page at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tularecountysheriff/sets/72157631707314682/

 
...posted by media relations
*****
Marijuana Eradication Details 10-4-12
LOCATION:  Multiple          DATE:  10-04-12          TIME: 
CASE NUMBER:  Multiple         VICTIM:  State of CA          CITY:  Multiple

On 10-04-2012 detectives of the Tulare County Sheriff’s STEP unit completed marijuana investigations at the following locations:

36300 blk of Millwood Dr., Elderwood
TCSO Case # 12-60860
Detectives entered a new phase in a four week investigation into the cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale at the above listed location with the service of a Search Warrant at the property. Upon arrival it was found that the growers had fled into a nearby grove as officers approached, owners of the property were not directly involved in the marijuana grow, but had rented a 1 acre section of their property to several individuals to grow purported medicinal marijuana. The investigation found that the marijuana being grown was far in excess of any medical needs by the suspects causing this grow site to be in violation of California marijuana laws. The property was also less than 500 ft. from a school.

The garden contained 235 fully budded marijuana plants, each containing several pounds of bud. The garden site was eradicated and suspects are being sought for questioning. The 235 mature marijuana plants had an estimated 500 lbs of usable “bud”. Three marijuana recommends were present which, “per the doctor’s recommendation”, allowed the suspects to possess 18 pounds of marijuana for their medical needs. 

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

38600 block of Rd. 64 Dinuba
TCSO Case #12-60849
Detectives responded to the above location to assist the Tulare County Resource Management Agency Marijuana Code Compliance Officer with the service of an Abatement Warrant. An Abatement Warrant is signed by a Judge of the Superior Court after numerous letters and civil hearings with the involved property owners.  It allows County Employees to enter a property to remove what has been declared a Public Nuisance.  In this case, the marijuana and the fencing surrounding it were out of compliance with the County Ordinance banning the outdoor cultivation of marijuana. Detectives routinely assist R.M.A. Code Compliance Officers because of the violence and common presence of armed guards around marijuana gardens. In this case, the growers had removed the almost (300) marijuana plants they were allowed by recommendations present. However, the suspect pointed out almost 1,000 pounds of partially processed marijuana drying in a pole barn. It is estimated that the approx. 1,000 pounds of partially processed marijuana will yield in excess of 450 pounds of usable/sellable “bud”. When it was pointed out to the suspect that the recommendations present, including his, only allowed for 18 pounds combined, he invoked his right to silence. The suspect was arrested on charges of cultivation and possession for sale of marijuana.

Arrested:
Alfonso Guizar, 39 yoa, Dinuba – Charged with cultivation and Possession of marijuana for sale
This case is still under investigation by the TCSO STEP Unit.


The above cases point out some of the problems with current marijuana laws. Doctors routinely charge their clients for the amount of plants and dried bud allowed on their recommendations with no basis on fact. The high number of 99 plants allowed is not a law; it is the mistaken belief that Federal authorities will not accept a case with less than 100 plants. While this is routinely true, Federal authorities do not take into consideration multiple recommendations at the same location. Fewer than 100 plants at a garden site can be a Federal case. This has been shown with the recent Federal cases filed under Operation Mercury.

Individuals who obtain their recommendations are often told by the doctors that they can donate their excess marijuana to a dispensary which will then donate cash back to the grower. Under California law this is still considered sales of marijuana, which is a felony.  A grower with a single recommendation for 99 plants will try to hide behind that recommendation and be untouched by law enforcement until he begins to harvest the plant.  Because of the yield of most strains of marijuana currently grown in the valley, even an inexperienced grower can harvest at least one pound of product from each marijuana plant. As soon as the plants are cut down and the processing started, they are no longer “plants”.  The material is now considered “partially processed marijuana”. Detectives who have been trained in marijuana investigations use several techniques to determine how much usable “bud” is yielded from the total weight of “partially processed marijuana” seized. 
            
Photos are available on the Sheriff’s Flickr page at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tularecountysheriff/sets/72157631698294572/

 
...posted by media relations
*****
Narcotics Arrest - Lindsay
LOCATION:           DATE:  10/3/12          TIME: 
CASE NUMBER:  12-40144         VICTIM:  State of California          CITY: 

#1 Juan Antonio Hinojosa             M/H    Age:    25
City of Residence:      Lindsay, Ca.
#2 Guadalupe Vega Gonzalez       F/H    Age:    18
City of Residence:     Lindsay, Ca.

 

 

On today’s date Patrol officers from the Lindsay Police Department were investigating a report of animal cruelty in the 600 Blk of N. Westwood. During the investigation the officers contacted the listed suspects and found a large amount of processed marijuana in the residence.  Investigators from the Inter-Agency Narcotics Enforcement Team were called to take over the Narcotic portion of the investigation. A search warrant was served at the residence.  The ensuing investigation and search revealed that the listed suspect ‘s were in possession of approximately 108 grams of Marijuana packaged for sales, indicia related to the sale of Marijuana, scales, packaging materials and they were maintaining a residence for illicit narcotic sales. The Marijuana was being sold under the guise of medical marijuana.  Also when the suspect’s were contacted by Officers, Suspect #2 attempted to destroy and conceal the evidence.

The suspect booked at the Tulare County Main Jail 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
*****
Attempt Homicide 664/187PC
LOCATION:  13100 block of Ave. 422, Orosi          DATE:  09-30-12          TIME:  0730
CASE NUMBER:  12-12856         VICTIM:  Hispanic Male Adult          CITY:  Orange Cove

Narrative:

On the above date and time the victim was checking irrigation in an orange orchard when an unknown suspect approached him and shot him. The victim received a single gunshot wound which caused a none life threatening injury to his left arm and neck.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male approximately 5-11 with a thin build. He wore a light blue bandana over his face, a grey long sleeve t-shirt and blue jeans. The weapon is described as a grey or chrome hand gun, unknown type.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Rodney Klassen at the Tulare County Sheriff’s Violent Crimes Unit at 735-1908 or contact the Sheriff’s Department TIPNOW hot line at 559-725-4194 or tcso@tipnow.com

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
Narcotics and Weapons Related Charges
LOCATION:  Orosi and Visalia Areas          DATE:  09-29-12          TIME:  1600
CASE NUMBER:  12-80155         VICTIM:           CITY: 

On 09-27-12 thru 09-29-12 Detectives from the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department Gang Violence Suppression Unit continued Gang suppression efforts in the Cutler / Orosi and Visalia area.  During this effort, seven persons were taken into custody for Narcotic related charges in separate unrelated arrests

1) Jose Perdomo (36 yrs old from Dinuba) and Gilberto Lopez (25 yrs old from Fresno) were taken into custody after a large amount of Marijuana was found in the vehicle and trailer they were driving.

2) The following subjects were arrested (unrelated arrests) for possession of a controlled substance:
                             Arthur Valero (22 yrs old from Visalia)
                             Leonal Reyes  (41 yrs old from Dinuba)
                             Juan Ramos    (39 yrs old from Orosi)
                             Ever Guerra    (35 yrs old from Cutler)
                             Ron Pascua     (40 yrs old from Orosi) 

 All subjects were booked into the Tulare County Main Jail and the cases remain under investigation by the Sheriff’s Department Gang Suppression Unit.

 

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
11350(a) H&S /POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE
LOCATION:  200 BLOCK S. STATE ROAD, EARLIMART          DATE:  09-28-12          TIME:  1520
CASE NUMBER:  12- 12778          VICTIM:  State of California          CITY: 

On 9-28-12 at approximately 1520 hours Deputies contacted Jesus Ontiveros, 27 years old of Earlimart, during a routine traffic stop.  He was unlicensed and voluntarily allowed Deputies to search his vehicle for weapons or contraband.  During the search Deputies located a bindle of cocaine weighing approximately 0.2 grams.  Ontiveros was arrested and booked into County Jail without incident.  He was charged with  possession of a controlled substance & driving without a license.
  
         

The case remains under investigation by TCSO.

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
Marijuana Eradication Details 9-24-12 through 9-28-12
LOCATION:  Various sites in Tulare County          DATE:  09-24-12          TIME: 
CASE NUMBER:  Various         VICTIM:  Stae of CA          CITY:  Various

9/24/12  13400 Block of Ave. 72 Earlimart  TCSO case # 12-60838
S-1 Leonardo Baltier,  59 yoa., Paso Robels Ca.   11358 HS, 11359 HS 182 PC
S-2 Manuel Favela Guiano, 52 yoa., Earlimart     11358 HS, 11359 HS 182 PC

On 9/24/12 detectives of the STEP unit concluded a four week investigation into the Cultivation and sales of marijuana from the above location with the service of a search warrant. Upon arrival detectives found a large marijuana grow purportedly for medicinal usage by three individuals. However the investigation found approx. 150 pounds of usable bud had already been processed, some already packaged for sale and there were still 158 fully budded plants in the ground. Each plant had approx.. 1 to 2 pounds of marijuana bud still on the plant. It was found that this amount of marijuana was clearly in excess of what was needed by the (3) recommend holders responsible for the grow site. The above listed suspects were arrested at the scene and transported without incident. Using the conservative amounts of  1 pound per plant and the 150 pounds of processed bud already present, in excess of 300 pounds of usable bud could have come from this grow site. This marijuana would have a street value in California in excess of  $900,000.

 

9/25/12
Locations:                                   TCSO Case # 12-60766
41900 blk of Rd. 126, Orosi
300 blk of S. Ventura,
15700 blk of Rosaline Ave. Ivanhoe
 
On 9/25/2012 The Tulare County STEP team assisted the CVMIT (Central Valley Marijuana Investigation Task force) with the final stages of a nine month investigation into the cultivation and sales of marijuana in the Fresno/Tulare/Madera county areas. The CVMIT task Force is made up of officers from the California Department of Justice - Bureau of Investigations, Fresno and Tulare County Sheriff’s Departments, U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The investigation targeted a DTO (Drug Trafficking Organization) operating out of the Orosi area with ties to Mexico. This group was responsible for many marijuana grows on both public lands in both the Fresno and Tulare county mountains and on the valley floor hiding behind California medical marijuana laws, Methamphetamine trafficking and planning home invasion/ rip-off’s in the Central valley.

At 0600 hrs on 9/25/12 multiple Federal search and arrest warrants were served simultaneously at the above locations and on several suspects currently in custody on related state charges. Arrested on Federal charges were the following:

Juan Manuel Rodriguez, 32 yoa, Ivanhoe
Frank Rodriguez, 28 yoa, Orosi
Jose Carlos Flores, 24 yoa, Farmersville
Miguel Angel Rodriguez, 19 yoa, Orosi
Marisol Rodriguez,  31yoa, Ivanhoe
Carlos Armando Luna, 21 yoa, Orosi
Wesley Carlos,  19 yoa, Orosi
Edgardo Torres, 20 yoa, Orosi
Travis Dodd, 34 yoa, Dinuba
Miguel Malagon, 40 yoa, Parlier

The investigation found that the above listed subjects took part in various operations within the Rodriguez trafficking organization including cultivating marijuana in both the mountains and valley grows hiding behind California medical marijuana laws, sales of marijuana, transporting personnel, supplies and marijuana to and from grow sites, possession and possession and sales of cocaine and planning what are commonly referred to as “dope rips” where an armed group of suspects take others marijuana by force. S-9, Travis Dodd is accused of impersonating a Federal DEA agent and using a fake badge to scout out marijuana grows close to being harvested, then passing the information to a “Rip team”. Dodd was taken into custody several weeks ago by local detectives and Federal agents to prevent several planned thefts. While the operations were planned no known marijuana rips occurred by this group due to law enforcement intervention.

All the above listed suspects are in Federal custody. The search warrants were executed without incident by Federal, State and Local Law Enforcement officers. In addition to the arrested suspects over (40) pounds of processed packaged marijuana, ½ pound of cocaine and (10) firearms of various types were seized during the operation. The groups marijuana gardens totaling approx. 13,000 plants were systematically eradicated by officers during the investigation throughout the season as they came close to harvest.

This case is still under investigation by CVMIT and the Tulare County Sheriff’s Dept. S.T.E.P. team

 

36400 Blk of Rd. 112, Visalia  TCSO Case # 12-40140
S1 - Kai Moua,  37 yoa, Visalia
S2 - Xiong Moua, 40 yoa, Visalia
S3 - May Siong, 57 yoa, Visalia
S4 - Khoua Moua, 42 yoa, Visalia

On 9/25/12 detectives of the STEP, NTF and INET units concluded a two week investigation into the Cultivation and sales of marijuana from the above location with the service of a search warrant. Upon arrival detectives found a large marijuana grow purportedly for medicinal usage by (6) individuals. However the investigation found approx. 440 pounds of usable bud already processed, some already packaged for sale and there were still 604 fully budded plants in the ground. Each plant had approx. 1 to 2 pounds of marijuana bud still on the plant. It was found that this amount of marijuana was clearly in excess of what was needed by the (6) recommend holders responsible for the grow site.  (5) firearms of various types were seized in and around the marijuana grows. The above listed suspects were arrested at the scene and transported without incident. Using the conservative amounts of  1 pound per plant and the 440 pounds of processed bud already present, in excess of 1000 pounds of usable bud could have come from this grow site. This marijuana would have a street value in California in excess of  $3,000,000.

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

9/28/2012          
22300 Blk of Ave. 340, Woodlake Ca. TCSO Case # 12-60850

On 9/28/12 Detectives with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Dept. STEP team assisted Tulare County Code Compliance officers in serving an Abatement Warrant on a marijuana grow at the above listed location. Abatement Warrants are written after the Civil fine process fails to induce a property owner to remove a Public Nuisance. In this case the marijuana in question was being grown outside of the approved zone and outdoors. Property owners had been notified, served and fined over a period of several months. After failing to abate the marijuana an Abatement Warrant was requested and signed by a Judge of the Superior Court directing the county to enter the property and remove the marijuana plants. 156 fully budded marijuana plants were removed from the property. The fence surrounding the property was torn down as it was also out of compliance with County Codes. Due to the frequency of armed subjects at marijuana grows the Tulare County Resource Management Agency requests the Sheriff’s department to assist in these abatement operations. The cost of the Abatement operation will be passed on to the property owner.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tularecountysheriff/8034105262/in/photostream/

 
...posted by media relations
*****
Arrests made on narcotics case
LOCATION:  Springville, CA          DATE:  09-28-12          TIME: 
CASE NUMBER:  12-60110         VICTIM:  Stae of CA          CITY:  Springville, CA

Arrested:
#1  James Donnary Clancy, Age: 75, City of Residence:  Springville, Ca.
#2  Marie Angela Howe, Age: 58, City of Residence:  Springville, Ca.

 

After a one (1) month investigation into illegal narcotics trafficking in the Springville area investigators from the Sheriff’s Department’s Narcotics Division were led to residence in the 35300 Blk of Tule River Dr. in Springville, Ca. were a search warrant was served.

 

The investigation revealed approximately 11.8 grams of Methamphetamine, 38.6 grams of Cocaine and 186.2 grams of Marijuana all packaged for sales, scales, indicia indicating sales of narcotics, a hand gun and a sum of U.S. Currency were also seized.  The suspects were maintaining a residence for illicit narcotic sales.

 

The suspects booked at their respective Tulare County Jail facilities on the above listed charges.
 

 

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Division (559) 713-2950.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tularecountysheriff/sets/72157631646293731/

 
...posted by media relations
*****
Attempted Homicide, Terra Bella
LOCATION:  9200 Block of Road 236, Terra Bella          DATE:  09-27-12          TIME:  0420 hrs
CASE NUMBER:  12-12707         VICTIM:  Male adult age 28 of Tulare          CITY:  Tulare

On 9/27/12 at approximately 0420 hours, Tulare County Sheriff Deputies were dispatched to the 9200 Block of Rd 236 in Terra Bella in regards to a gun shot wound victim. Deputies arrived on scene and contacted the victim who had sustained a gunshot wound to the chest. The victim was transported to a local area hospital for treatment. 

Detectives with the Violent Crimes Unit responded to the scene and took over the investigation. The incident is still under investigation by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department.  Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Sgt Liles or Detective Jose Torres from the Violent Crimes Unit at (559)733-6218. 

 
...posted by Media Relations
*****
PC 211, Robbery
LOCATION:  40600 block of Emerald, Cutler Ca.          DATE:  09-26-12          TIME:  1940 hrs
CASE NUMBER:  12-12694         VICTIM:  Francisco Reveles          CITY: 

Narrative:

On 09-26-12 at approximately 2001 hrs, Deputies from the Orosi Substation responded to the area Rd. 128 and Emerald Ave for a report of an armed robbery.  The victim reported the suspect took approximately $75.00 in cash from the victim while brandishing a handgun.  Suspect then fled the area on foot. 

 

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

 

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
Grand theft of Produce, Possession of Stolen Property P.C. 487(B), 496
LOCATION:  15000 block of Ave. 8, Delano Ca.          DATE:  09-26-12          TIME:  1651 hours
CASE NUMBER:  12-12691         VICTIM:  Atlas Farms          CITY:  Delano, Ca.

Narrative:

On 9-26-12, Deputies of the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department responded to the area in the 15000 block of Ave. 8, Delano regarding a report of a theft of grapes. Upon arrival Deputies were directed to a suspect vehicle seen leaving the area and conducted a traffic stop. The two suspects were contacted and after a short investigation, 64 boxes of stolen grapes were located inside a trailer the suspects were pulling with their truck. Further investigation lead Deputies to locate 28 boxes of grapes that were packed and ready for transport at the victim’s vineyard. The total loss of the produce was estimated at $2,300.00 with a full recovery of the stolen property. The two suspects were arrested and booked for Grand theft and Possession of stolen property.

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

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
11358HS/11359HS/11360HS-Cultivation,Possession and Transportation of Marijuana
LOCATION:  Springville Area          DATE:  09-23-12          TIME:  2030
CASE NUMBER:  12-12551         VICTIM:  State of California          CITY: 

S1: Moreno, Sergio 06/29/67 DRIVER / Victorville
S2: Torres, Pablo 08/09/1987 MOPE / Simi Valley
S3: Rodriguez, Jose 05/11/1982 MOPE / Simi Valley
S4: Mendoza, Juvenal 08/21/1980 MOPE / Simi Valley

On 09/23/2012 at 1900 hours, Deputies from the Tulare County Sheriff's Department  received an anonymous tip that individuals were seen transporting what was believed to be marijuana out of a clandestine marijuana grow site in Long Canyon. Long Canyon is a desolate, isolated area of the Giant Sequoia National Monument above Springville with no established or maintained recreational trails. Patrol and Resident Deputies responded to the area and set up surveillance of known drop points used by marijuana traffickers.

At approximately 2030 hours, Deputies observed a suspicious vehicle enter the Lower Coffee Camp day use area. A subsequent law enforcement stop of the vehicle was made by Deputies who discovered approximately one-hundred thirty-five (135) pounds of processed marijuana. The marijuana was packaged into one (1) pound plastic bags, ready for sale and distribution. The marijuana was estimated to be valued at approximately $550,000.00. Four Hispanic male adults from Simi Valley and Victorville California were arrested and taken into custody pursuant to charges of the cultivation, transportation and possession of marijuana for sale.

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

 

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
Gang Violence Suppression Detail
LOCATION:  Cutler/Orosi and Visalia area's          DATE:  9-21-12          TIME: 
CASE NUMBER:  See below         VICTIM:  State of California          CITY: 

  On Friday 09-21-12 Detectives from the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department Gang Violence Suppression Unit conducted suppression efforts in the Cutler / Orosi and Visalia area.  During this effort, three persons were taken into custody for Narcotic and Weapons related charges:

 

Jose Hernandez (40 yrs old from Orosi) was taken into custody after a probation search of his residence found approximately 25 pounds of marijuana as well a small amount of Methamphetamine.

 

Jesus Torres-Manjo (24 yrs old from Orosi) was taken into custody for possession of a loaded firearm in a vehicle

 

 

George Borbon (24 yrs old from Visalia) was taken into custody after he was found to be in possession of a small amount of Methamphetamine.

 

 All subjects were booked into the Tulare County Main Jail and the cases remain under investigation by the Sheriff’s Department Gang Suppression Unit

 
...posted by dispatch
*****
***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
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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
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