SP man arrested for manufacturing methamphetamine
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula News
Published: March 25, 2005
A Santa Paula man was caught in a multi-agency sweep that resulted in the dismantling of two methamphetamine labs – one fixed and the other in transit - on Monday, according to a police spokesman.
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula Times
A Santa Paula man was caught in a multi-agency sweep that resulted in the dismantling of two methamphetamine labs – one fixed and the other in transit - on Monday, according to a police spokesman. The Ventura County Combined Agency Team (V.C.A.T.) took the actions in Ventura and Ojai following the discovery of a methamphetamine lab in Ventura while investigating a report of domestic violence.
The incident started at about 11 a.m. when Ventura Police Corporal Ralph Martinez discovered the first lab site in the garage while investigating a domestic violence related call on Comstock Drive in Ventura. “During the course of his investigation Corporal Martinez learned that the suspect had fled prior to his arrival and taken a portion of the lab with him,” noted Oxnard Police Sgt. Bob Camarillo.
Later that afternoon Ventura County Sheriff Deputies Steve Sulkowski, Chris Loes and Scott Baugher discovered the second lab site in an Ojai parking lot. “Two subjects were seen acting suspiciously and were detained by the deputies,” who then discovered the second lab site, the missing section to the lab found in Ventura, in a vehicle.
Alfred Moreno, 37 years old and a Santa Paula resident who lives on Harvard Boulevard, was arrested for manufacturing methamphetamine and the second person was released, said Sgt. Camarillo. A “small amount” of methamphetamine was also discovered.
Moreno had “actually started the cook and had every chemical” necessary to manufacture methamphetamine. “We consider it two different lab sites because of the hazardous materials” being present at both locations.
An outside agency had to be called to dismantle the labs and a hazardous material waste team was called to remove the materials used to manufacture the drug. “It’s real dangerous stuff,” noted Sgt. Camarillo.
The officers involved “did a very good job” in recognizing the situations and “calling us out…this is something we’re beginning to see, the diligence of the patrol officers in both areas that discovered it and brought it to our attention. We simply went out there and had to dismantle it,” and now the follow-up will be handled by V.C.A.T.
The Ventura County Combined Agency Team is a countywide narcotic taskforce comprised of investigators from federal, county and local law enforcement agencies assembled to apprehend drug traffickers in Ventura County. Participating agencies are the Oxnard and Ventura Police Departments, VCSD, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, U.S. Customs and the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office.
Methamphetamine has become more popular in spite of the affects it has on users – “meth” is highly addictive and users can become violent and paranoid – and the dangers of ingesting and manufacturing the drug, which requires a variety of chemicals including those that are highly toxic and explosive. Methamphetamine is also unusually addictive.