News Story


Thousand Oaks Deputies Arrest Convicted Felon for Weapons/Ammunition Possession and Child Endangerment
8/29/2013 4:35:00 PM


Nature of Incident:

Search Warrant / Child Endangerment Arrest

Report Number:



1000 block of Calle Almendro, Thousand Oaks, CA.

Date & Time:

August 29, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

Unit Responsible:

Thousand Oaks Police Department ' Special Enforcement Unit / Ventura County Child Protective Services Agency

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

City of Residence



(S) Carlos Contreras

(S) Michelle McLaughlin

(S) Lance McLaughlin

Thousand Oaks

Thousand Oaks

Thousand Oaks







During the month of August 2013, the Thousand Oaks Police Department's Special Enforcement Unit was conducting an investigation in which a document criminal street gang member and convicted felon was in possession of weapons and ammunition.   


On August 29, 2013, the Special Enforcement Unit conducted a traffic stop on (S) Contreras as he was driving in the City of Thousand Oaks.  During the traffic stop, (S) Contreras was arrested for being possession of switchblade knife.  A search warrant was subsequently served at (S) Contreras' residence, where ammunition and graffiti type drawings that resembled recently removed graffiti in the City of Thousand Oaks was located.  Detectives were able to close a 2- year graffiti investigation that accounted for graffiti being applied in the City of Thousand Oaks on approximately 90 different locations.  Due to (S) Contreras being a convicted felon, he was also arrested for being a convicted felon in possession of ammunition, and graffiti vandalism. 


While searching the residence detectives located marijuana, numerous prescription narcotics, and drug paraphernalia.  Evidence located indicated (S) Michelle McLaughlin was abusing her prescribed medication by crushing her prescription narcotics and smoking them.  The investigation revealed that (S) Michelle McLaughlin and (S) Lance McLaughlin have three children together, a 5-year-old girl, a 3-year-old girl, and a 2-year-old boy.  Due to the children's access to the drugs and/or drug paraphernalia, and the unsanitary living conditions of the residence a DEC (Drug Endangered Children) investigation was initiated.  Ventura County Child Protective Services Agency was requested to respond to the location.  Child Protective Services conducted their own investigation and ultimately took the three children into protective custody. 


(S) Contreras was arrested for a felony count of 30305(a) PC ' Felon in possession of ammunition, a misdemeanor count of 21510(b) PC ' Possession of a switchblade knife, and a misdemeanor count of 594(b)(2)(a) PC ' Graffiti Vandalism.  Contreras was booked at the East County Jail is being held on $10,000 bail.


Both Michelle and Lance McLaughlin were arrested for 273a(a) PC ' Child Endangerment, 11357(a) H&S ' Possession of concentrated cannabis, 11357(c) H&S ' Possession of more that 28.5 grams of marijuana, and 11550(a) H&S ' Under the influence of a controlled substance.  Both were booked into the Pre-Trial Detention Facility and are being held on $50,000.00 bail.



Prepared by:

Sgt. Dan Hawes


Media Release Date:

August 29, 2013


Follow-Up Contact:

Deputy Robert Brady ' Child Endangerment


Deputy Richard LaSecla ' Graffiti Vandalism



Approved by:

Capt. Mike Hartmann