News Story

 

Man With Baby Arrested Selling Heroin Near DeAnza Middle School
3/13/2015 1:00:00 PM

 

VENTURA COUNTY INTERAGENCY PHARMACEUTICAL CRIMES UNIT

News Story

 

Nature of Incident:

Man with Baby Arrested Selling Heroin near De Anza Middle School

Report Number:

15-4588

Location:

100 block of Cameron Court, City of Ventura

Date & Time:

March 13, 2015 at 1:00 p.m.

Unit(s) Responsible:

Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit

(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent

City of Residence

Age

Gabriel Flores

Steven Merrill

 

Ventura

Ventura

33

24

Narrative:

 

Synopsis: The Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit completed an investigation of Gabriel Flores selling heroin in the City of Ventura.  Flores was arrested and a search warrant was served at his residence on Cameron Court, in the City of Ventura.

 

Investigation: During the latter part of 2014 and early 2015, detectives from the Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit learned of the use and sales of heroin and Xanax in the City of Ventura, among teenagers and young adults. Detectives learned of several probable heroin overdose deaths in the city as well.      

 

Detectives from the Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit initiated an investigation into Gabriel Flores when they learned he was selling heroin in the City of Ventura.  The investigation revealed that Flores sold heroin within 50 feet of De Anza Middle School, located in Ventura, on multiple occasions. The drug sales did not occur on the school property. Flores sold the drugs while school was in session, however.  None of the buyers had any connection to the school.

 

On March 13, 2015, detectives from the Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit and the West County Sheriff's Narcotics Street Team conducted surveillance on Flores' residence located in the 100 block of Cameron Court, Ventura. Flores residence was within one block of De Anza Middle School.

 

 During the surveillance, detectives observed Flores leave his residence pushing a stroller with his three month old baby seated inside.  Detectives then observed Flores conduct a hand to hand heroin deal with Steven Merrill of Ventura.  Flores and Merrill were arrested and taken into custody without incident.  Flores' three month old baby was released to Ventura County Child Protective Services.  A search warrant was served at Flores residence.  Heroin packaged for sale, used syringes, as well as a syringe loaded with suspected heroin was seized.  All of these items were found in a location easily accessible by the five and six year old children also residing in the apartment.  The five and six year old children were also released to Ventura County Child Protective services.

 

Merrill was arrested for a misdemeanor charge of possession of heroin. He was booked into Ventura County Jail with a $15,000 bail. His court date is pending.

 

Flores was arrested and booked for sales of heroin with an enhancement of dealing near a school, possession of heroin for sale, and child endangerment. Flores is in custody in the Ventura County Jail with a $500,000.00 bail. His court date is pending.

 

The Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit is a task force comprised of members from the Ventura County Sheriff's Office, Simi Valley Police Department, the District Attorney's Office Bureau of Investigation, and the California Highway Patrol.  Their primary mission is combating the transfer of legal prescription medication to the illegal market.  In addition, the task force works to identify and stop new trends of abuse among the younger population and investigates overdose deaths due to both prescription medication and illicit drug use.  Anyone with information regarding these topics is encouraged to contact the Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit at (805) 383-8700 or via e-mail at pharm.tip@ventura.org.

 

 

Prepared by:

Detective Robert Davidson

 

News Release Date:

March 18, 2014

 

Media Follow-Up Contact:

Detective Robert Davidson

(805) 383-8700

 

 

Approved by:

Captain Mark Franke