Ventura stop leads to drug possession, weapons charges
Ventura stop leads to drug possession, weapons charges
Police arrested a Ventura man on suspicion of drug possession and weapons charges following a traffic stop. Ventura officers attempted to stop a man at about 2:30 in the morning. Initially the driver did not stop. Officers also observed him moving around suspiciously in the vehicle while he was driving.

After the driver stopped, police approached the vehicle. Because an officer spotted a firearm in plain sight on the floor, they detained the man and searched the vehicle. During the search, they discovered a quantity of methamphetamine inside the car.

Prosecutors charged the man with one felony and three misdemeanors, including possession of a controlled substance with a firearm, carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle, drug possession and driving on a suspended license. His next court appearance is in April. He was given a $50,000 bond, but remains lodged in the Ventura County Jail.

Ventura drug possession attorney


Proposition 47 reduced the severity of several types of drug possession charges. While the severity of drug charges may decrease, the number of other charges you may face could go up. Prosecutors may use Prop 47 offenses as a reason to increase the number of charges against you. By focusing on other offenses like those involving weapons, they can still fight for felony charges against you.

That’s why you need an experienced, aggressive drug possession attorney by your side in court. Robert Helfend practices criminal defense in Ventura County and throughout Southern California. He has more than 30 years of experience in California courtrooms. As a practicing attorney, Mr. Helfend has successfully represented thousands of Californians who faced criminal charges.

Mr. Helfend will fight aggressively to get charges against you reduced or dropped. When that isn’t possible, he will work toward the best possible outcome for your case. Don’t risk your freedom on an inexperienced attorney. See the difference an aggressive, experienced criminal defense attorney can make.

Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County drug possession case.
Photo Credit: Drew Stephens, via Flickr.com

TO Begins Search for Unlicensed Animals
TO Begins Search for Unlicensed Animals
Thousand Oaks has begun a controversial code enforcement program after contracting with the Animal Care and Control Division of neighboring Los Angeles County. The enforcement program is sending Los Angeles County animal control officers through Thousand Oaks neighborhoods in search for unlicensed animals.

Door-to-door search raises constitutional questions


Owners of animals found with expired licenses are assessed a $30 late fee. Owners of unlicensed animals are assessed a $40 enforcement fee in addition to the cost of the license, which ranges between $20 and $60, depending upon whether the animal has been neutered. Thousand Oaks looks for unlicensed animals using door-to-door enforcement about once every five years.

The city has contracted with Los Angeles County for animal control services for about 30 years because the two counties use a shared animal control facility. Ventura County pays about $240,000 per year to Los Angeles County for animal control services. About half of the cost of the animal control contract is paid for by licensing and enforcement fees.

The door-to-door nature of the searches has some residents questioning whether the approach is a violation of residents’ Fourth Amendment rights regarding search and seizure. Thousand Oaks notified all residents in writing in February that it would begin animal license enforcement in March.

When it comes to the legality of searches, don’t take chances. Instead work with an attorney who has significant experience in search and seizure cases. Whether you’re dealing with simple code enforcement, or more complicated cases of searches and seizures that involve your home, vehicle or property. The government has a limited ability to conduct searches of your property, but that’s frequently not enough to stop them from trying. If you believe you’ve been the subject of an illegal search, or unfair law enforcement that arises from an illegal action, get legal assistance.

Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County search and seizure case.

Photo Credit: djkosor, via FreeImages.com

Ventura home search nets drug arrests
Ventura home search nets drug arrests
Earlier this month, police arrested two men at a Ventura home following a warrant search, as part of an investigation of illegal drug activity. Police began receiving complaints by neighbors of suspected drug dealing at the home in early January. As part of the investigation, police detained people after leaving the home, and found that the individuals were frequently in possession of drug paraphernalia, and small amounts of drugs, usually methamphetamine.

Home search requires warrant


The police obtained a warrant to conduct the home search, and took two residents into custody. Andrew Parkin, 24, of Ventura was arrested on possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and maintaining a place for drug use and/or sales. Christopher Willis, 26, of Ventura was also arrested on an outstanding warrant for a parole violation.

Police officers need a warrant or the permission of a home’s inhabitant to conduct a home search. Often, officers will talk to the occupants of a home, while looking for items in plain sight that suggest some kind of illegal activity. If they see something, they can enter the home without a warrant, because they have “probable cause” to believe that something illegal is occurring inside. A warrantless home search may have serious constitutional problems. That opens the door to ask a court to throw out evidence that the police collected unconstitutionally.

Warrants also have to be specific. Investigators need to tell a judge exactly what they’re looking for, and they need to limit a home search to the items listed on the warrant. They cannot seize items that aren’t listed on the warrant.

Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Robert Helfend has practiced criminal defense for more than 30 years and can assist in your home search and seizure case. The proper seizure and handling of evidence is not just important – it makes or breaks the case against you. When police and prosecutors don’t follow the well-known, well established rules of evidence collection, a judge can throw out the entire case against you. Mr. Helfend is an expert in search and seizure cases, and may be able to get the evidence against you dismissed.

Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County home search and seizure case.

Photo Credit: Sara Joos, via FreeImages.com

Moorpark Drug Arrest Nets Five
Moorpark Drug Arrest Nets Five
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office reported that they made a drug arrest involving three Simi Valley residents and two Thousand Oaks residents last week. Narcotics officers had been investigating Jose Melgoza, who was suspected of selling heroin and methamphetamine to buyers throughout Ventura County. As Melgoza was leaving a business in Moorpark, detectives arrested him on an outstanding warrant. He was in possession of several grams of heroin, packaged for individual sale, at the time of his arrest. During a search of his vehicle, detectives also recovered a handgun and ammunition, as well as prescription drugs.

One drug arrest leads to four others


While Jose Melgoza was being arrested, his brother, Agustin arrived on the scene. Deputies made a second drug arrest of Agustin Melgoza on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance. While deputies were searching the Melgoza residence, they seized more than a pound of suspected marijuana. While they were conducting the search, three other individuals known to the Melgoza brothers arrived on the scene. Deputies made a drug arrest of Kristy Parks on an outstanding drug warrant. They also arrested Vanessa Martinez and Matthew Baake for drug possession .

Following his drug arrest, Jose Melgoza was subsequently charged with possession for sales of a controlled substance, person armed with a firearm during the commission of a felony, felon in possession of a firearm and a felon in possession of ammunition.

If you’ve been the subject of a Ventura drug arrest, Ventura criminal defense attorney Robert Helfend can help. Robert Helfend is a noted, experienced criminal defense attorney who takes drug arrest cases in Ventura County. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of drug arrest experience in criminal defense in Ventura County, and can defend you in court.

Mr. Helfend has established a reputation as a bold defender and will work to have the charges from your drug arrest reduced or dropped. Having an experienced Ventura criminal defense attorney by your side in court is your best possible defense strategy when fighting a drug arrest. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County drug arrest case.
Photo Credit: Rotorhead, via FreeImages.com

dragon-slayer-01A joint operation involving jurisdictions from Prince William, Fairfax, Stafford, Manassas and Manassas Park led to the arrests of 68 individuals along with the seizure of cocaine, heroin, marijuana, prescription medications, ecstasy, handguns, shotguns, rifles, various drug paraphernalia, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash.

Detectives dubbed the joint operation “Operation Dragon Sting.” Dragon is a slag term used to describe heroin — a powerful opioid analgesic that’s currently classified as a Schedule I Controlled Substance, making it use, sale, and distribution illegal under federal law. This joint operation aims to target street-level drug dealers by carrying out search warrants issued by the respective municipalities and judges.

Operation Dragon Sting is technically the second phase of the Operation Blue Dragon, which netted law enforcement agencies some 40 arrests last November. The first leg of the operation, Operation Blue Dragon, focused more on heavy dealers and less on street-level dealers.

The 68 individuals arrested in Operation Dragon Sting were offered education about the dangers of drug use and distribution, along with guidance on how to overcome addiction. It’s unclear how many of the 68 arrested individuals took part in the educational program.

According to police reports, search warrants were carried in the 9200 block of Douglas Street in Manassas, 14800 block of Emberdale Drive in Dale City, 1300 block of Bayside Avenue in Woodbridge, 7500 block of Gales Court in Manassas, 4600 block of Central Park Drive in Dale City, 15300 block of Inlet Place in Dumfries, 900 block of Wingfield Road in Woodbridge, 13700 block of Joyce Road in Woodbridge, 2900 block of Fox Lair Drive in Woodbridge, 4100 block of Hoffman Drive in Dale City, 2900 block of Buell Court in Dumfries, 16900 block of Jed Forrest Lane in Woodbridge, Maryanne Avenue in Stafford, 2000 block of Youngs Drive in Haymarket, 9200 block of Taney Road in Manassas, 3900 block of Laurel Street in Dumfries, 18500 block of Triangle Street in Triangle, and the 3100 block of Oakmont Avenue in Triangle.

Following the 68 arrests made in conjunction with Operation Dragon Sting, police want to remind the public to lock up any and all prescription medications. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 100 people die in the U.S. from prescription overdose each day (source) — a rate that’s tripled since the early 1990s. You can contact the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Take Back Initiative at  1-800-882-9539 to schedule a free pickup of any unused or unwanted prescription medication.