News Story


East County - Suspects Arrested for Sales and Distribution of Ecstasy and Bath Salts
12/27/2013 10:00:00 AM


Nature of Incident:

Investigators Arrest Suspects for Sales and Distribution of Ecstasy and Bath Salts

Report Number:



Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks


December 26, 2013

Unit(s) Responsible:

Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit

(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent City of Residence Age

(S) Lieberman, Aaron   Simi Valley  23

(S) Brand, Samantha   Simi Valley   22


The Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit completed a several month long

investigation into the sales of Ecstasy and Bath Salts in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties with

the arrest of Aaron Lieberman and Samantha Brand (see photos of suspects and evidence

seized at

The main drug involved in this investigation was Methylone. Methylone is an illicit drug that is

illegal to possess or sell in the State of California pursuant to the Health and Safety Code.

Methylone is an ecstasy type drug which has been sold as both ecstasy and bath salts in the

past. Methylone is abused for its stimulant and hallucinogenic affects. It is typically ingested by

teenagers and young adults and is popular in the rave culture. It is known locally as 'moon

rocks' and 'sassafras.' It resembles raw brown sugar in appearance and is typically orally

ingested in capsule form. A typical dose is .1 - .2 grams.


2 of 2

The pharmaceutical unit began investigating the use and sales of Methylone after information

was received that there was a large amount of it being sold in eastern Ventura County and

western Los Angeles County. Methylone also came to the attention of law enforcement when

Alejandro Pope was arrested earlier this year for killing his back seat passenger during a driving

while drugged collision. Pope was found to have Methylone, among other drugs, in his system.

The pharmaceutical unit, through its investigation, identified Aaron Lieberman as the ultimate

source of supply of most, if not all, Methylone for eastern Ventura and western Los Angeles

Counties. The case concluded with the arrest of Lieberman when he was witnessed selling a

pound and a half of Methylone in Simi Valley on December 26. Lieberman had also been

witnessed selling the drug on other occasions in Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley.

Lieberman's residences were searched in the 900 block of Quimisa Drive, in Simi Valley and

3500 block of Mapleknoll Place, in Thousand Oaks pursuant to his probation terms for a prior

drug related conviction. Lieberman's girlfriend, Samantha Brand, was present at the Quimisa

address and was arrested for possession for sale of Methylone. Several kilograms of Methylone,

over $40,000 in cash, 2 pill presses, and a large amount of cutting agents, steroids, and

suspected LSD were also recovered. Additionally, glass ware and other paraphernalia were

seized indicating past production of bath salts and ecstasy type drugs. In total, the street of value

of drugs seized from Lieberman was over $400,000.

The investigation revealed Lieberman and Brand were importing chemicals and finished product

from China to produce and resell these drugs. The investigation did not reveal any domestic

source of supply for Lieberman, suggesting he was the head of Methylone sales for the area.

The Thousand Oaks Police Department Special Enforcement Unit, Thousand Oaks Police Bike

Patrol Team, and members of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office West County Street Narcotics

Team provided significant assistance in the investigation.

Lieberman was booked into the Ventura County Main Jail for multiple narcotics violations

including several counts of drug sales. His bail is currently set at $350,000. Brand was booked

and subsequently secured bail. Both have pending court dates.

The Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit is comprised of members of law

enforcement from the Ventura County Sheriff's Office, Simi Valley Police Department, and the

Ventura County District Attorney's Office Bureau of Investigation. The main mission of the unit is

to stem the flow of prescription medication to the illegal market. A secondary, and related,

mission is identifying and stopping new trends of non-traditional drug sales that target teenagers

and young adults in Ventura County.

Prepared by:

Ventura County Sheriff's Sergeant Victor Fazio

Media Release Date:

December 27, 2013

Follow-Up Contact:

(805) 947-8074

Ventura County Assistant Sheriff Gary Pentis

Approved by:


Ventura County Sheriff's Captain Curt Rothschiller