News Story

 

Thousand Oaks Man Charged in Death of Niece
5/27/2015 12:00:00 PM

 

Nature of Incident:

Thousand Oaks Man Charged in Death of Niece

Report Number:

14-24671

Location:

4500 block of South Moorpark Ave, Moorpark

Date & Time:

October 28, 2014

Unit(s) Responsible:

Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit

Moorpark Police Department Investigations Unit

 

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

City of Residence

Age

(S) Paul Giannotta

(V) Christina Blankenship

Thousand Oaks

Moorpark

64

33

Narrative:

The Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit is announcing the conclusion of their investigation into the October 2014 death of Moorpark resident Christina Blankenship. On March 25, 2015, the Ventura County District Attorney's Office formally charged Paul Giannotta with multiple felonies related to the death of his niece. An investigation revealed Giannotta supplied his niece with Methadone which resulted in her death.

 

On October 28, 2014, Moorpark Patrol Deputies responded to a residence in the 4500 block of South Moorpark Ave, Moorpark, for a person not breathing call. They discovered Christina Blankenship was deceased inside of her residence. Information gathered at the scene quickly identified Blankenship's uncle, Paul Giannotta, as the probable source of supply of methadone.  Investigators from the Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit, East County Narcotics Street Team, and Moorpark Police Department Investigations Unit served search warrants at both Giannotta's home, in the 1600 block of Sweet Briar Place, Thousand Oaks, and Blankenship's home on Moorpark Avenue.  They discovered evidence confirming Giannotta as the source of supply of methadone for Blankenship. An autopsy conducted by the Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office also determined methadone was a significant contributing factor in Blankenship's death. Giannotta was charged with involuntary manslaughter and furnishing methadone with a special enhancement of causing great bodily injury during the commission of a felony.

 

Giannotta will be arraigned in Ventura County Superior Court on June 25, 2015.

 

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, the California Highway Patrol, and the Health Quality Investigation Unit of the California Division of Investigation. The primary mission of the task force 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.

 

The task force investigates drug related overdose deaths in the County of Ventura and will continue to aggressively pursue all individuals involved in the furnishing of drugs resulting in another person's death. Arrests will be made and cases will be presented to the District Attorney's Office in investigations where investigators believe charges can and should be filed.

 

 

Prepared by:

Sergeant Victor Fazio

 

News Release Date:

May 27, 2015

 

Media Follow-Up Contact:

Sergeant Victor Fazio

(805) 383-8700

 

 

Approved by:

Captain Curt Rothschiller

 







 

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