by Cindy Summers
Police reports are provided to us by the Ventura Police Department and are not the opinions of the Ventura Breeze. All suspects mentioned are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Narcotics Drug Lab Arrest
On May 20, at approximately 11:30 pm, a concerned citizen called 911 to report suspicious circumstances in the 700 block of E. Santa Clara St.
The reporting party smelled a chemical odor coming from a nearby apartment. She looked through an open window and saw what she believed to be a drug lab. Ventura Police Department Patrol officers responded to the area, contacted and detained the suspect identified as 20 year old Ventura resident Joshua Headly.
Street Crimes Unit Narcotics Detectives responded to the scene and began their investigation.
Detectives using investigative tools were able to determine this was an illegal drug lab making dimethyltryptamine (DMT). DMT is a hallucinogenic tryptamine drug, and this drug produces effects similar to those of psychedelics, like LSD and magic mushrooms.
Narcotics Detectives served a search warrant at the apartment with assistance of Department of Justice LA Impact clandestine labratory response team.
During the execution of the search warrant detectives were able to recover evidence from the dismantled lab including manufactured DMT.
Headly was arrested and booked into Ventura County Jail for 11379.6(a) H&S- Manufacturing a Controlled Substance and 11366 H&S- Operating a Drug House.
A search of the Ventura County Superior Court shows that Joshua Headly has no prior arrest.
Residential Burglary Arrest
On May 22, at approximately 8:00 am, residents of a house in the 1100 block of Poli Street left their house. As they left, they saw the suspect, 41 year old vagrant Seth Dees, loitering near their house. A few minutes later, the suspect was out of sight and the residents suspected he may have gone onto their property. As they walked back to their house, they found the suspect inside of their residence. They confronted him as he was leaving with some of their property and called 911. The suspect left but responding officers found and detained him. At the conclusion of the investigation, officers determined the suspect had entered the house through an unlocked door, took property and left. Dees was arrested for residential burglary (felony).
A review of the Ventura County Superior Court website revealed Dees has been arrested seventeen times since 2015. His arrest charges include possession of narcotics, trespassing, vehicle tampering, resisting arrest, under the influence of a controlled substance, possession of narcotics paraphernalia and possession of an illegal weapon.
Sexual Assault Investigation/Homicide Investigation
Update: Jose Mendez had remained in the hospital since the sexual assault investigation. On May 25, Mendez succumbed to those injuries sustained from the incident. This investigation is on- going and is now, also being investigated as a homicide.
Ventura Police Detectives continue to work with State Parks Police in this investigation.
On May 5, at approximately 6:00 pm, the Ventura Police Command Center received a 911 call of a possible sexual assault that occurred in California State Parks property north of the Ventura County Fairgrounds.
Patrol officers responded and located the victim and suspect on the bike path adjacent to the fairgrounds. The suspect was unconscious in a pull wagon. Due to the seriousness of the crime and complexities involved the Ventura Police Department handled the investigation with the assistance of the California State Parks Police.
During the course of the investigation it was learned that the victim was walking on the bike path with her dog when she decided to walk on the beach heading towards Emma Wood State Beach. As she began her walk on the beach, she noticed the suspect following her at a distance.
The victim let her dog off leash while she was on the beach and her dog fled into the brush area. As she went into the brush area to find her dog the suspect went with her and sexually assaulted her. The victim began to scream, and the suspect ran away.
Several individuals in the river bottom heard the commotion and learned that the victim may have been sexually assaulted. The group chased after the suspect and began to assault him. The suspect was knocked unconscious and was put into a pull wagon and taken to the bike path where he was left. The victim returned to the bike path, identified the suspect, and stood by awaiting police arrival.
The suspect was transported by AMR ambulance to the Ventura County Medical Center where he was remains in the hospital due to his injuries.
This investigation is ongoing and anyone with information about this incident is requested to contact Sergeant Dolan at 805-339-4444.
Narcotics Sales and Weapons Violations arrests
On May 9, at approximately 1:00 am, Ventura Police Department Patrol responded to the area of Saticoy Avenue and Daisy Drive for a report of several gunshots heard. No one was injured from the gunshots. However, officers searched the area and located evidence of a discharged firearm.
SCU Narcotics Detectives directed an investigation using investigative tools and neighborhood surveillance cameras. Detectives were able to identify the vehicle associated with the shooting, and its driver, 19 year old Ventura resident Osmar Zarate.
On May 26, during the subsequent investigation, narcotics detectives, VPD K-9, and patrol officers conducted a traffic stop on Osmar Zarate and his passenger, 19 year old Ventura resident Sebastian Martinez. On the detention officers discovered a large quantity of narcotics, which included cocaine, psilocybin, alprazolam, cannabis, and concentrated cannabis inside Zarate’s vehicle. They also located a loaded handgun inside the car matching the caliber of the firearm discharged on May 9.
As a result of the investigation, Osmar Zarate was arrested for possession of narcotics and allowing someone to shoot a firearm from your vehicle.
Sebastian Martinez was arrested for negligent discharge of a firearm, possession of narcotics for sales, possession of alprazolam for sales, possession of cocaine, possession of a controlled substance while armed with a loaded firearm, and illegal transfer of a firearm.
A search of the Ventura County Superior Court shows that both arrestees have no prior arrests.
Identity Theft and Possession of a Stolen Vehicle Arrest
On April 27, at approximately 6:00 am, a vehicle was stolen from the 2000 block of El Jardin in Ventura. The car was left unlocked with the keys in it. Also, inside the vehicle was the victim’s wallet with credit cards. During the investigation, the Ventura Police Street Crimes Unit, along with the Ventura Police Criminal Investigative Technician, identified 24 year old vagrant Eric Wimberley from security footage using the victim’s credit cards to make several purchases at different locations in Oxnard. Wimberley was also using the credit cards to purchase items online.
On May 23, Ventura Police Street Crimes Detectives began investigating a stolen vehicle that had been stolen in the 2500 block of Poli St in the city of Ventura. This car was locked; however, a spare key was left inside the vehicle. Based on this investigation, detectives determined that Wimberley was driving the stolen vehicle and later abandoned it near the Pacific View Mall.
On May 26, while on a separate investigation, Street Crimes Detectives saw Wimberley on foot in the area of Empire Ave and Preble Ave. While they followed him in an undercover capacity, they saw Wimberley walking around residential apartment complex parking lots and looking into cars. Ventura Police Patrol assisted the SCU Detectives in detaining and arresting Wimberley.
Wimberley was booked at the Ventura County Jail for four counts of identity theft and possession of a stolen vehicle. A review of the Ventura County Superior Court website shows Wimberley has prior convictions for grand theft, petty theft, possession of stolen property, identity theft, and possession of narcotics.
Ventura Police Department Street Crimes Unit would like to remind everyone to keep their vehicles locked and do not leave valuables inside their cars, especially the keys to the cars.
Residential Burglary Arrest
On May 27, at approximately 10:30pm, Ventura Police Patrol officers responded to a residential burglary that had just occurred. The victim observed the suspect outside of the victim’s apartment patio. The victim confronted the suspect, who was holding the victim’s bicycle. The suspect then dropped the bicycle and fled the area. The victim then called 911. The suspect, 35 year old vagrant Jon Clift, was detained in a nearby apartment complex. At the conclusion of the investigation, officers determined Clift had reached into the victim’s enclosed apartment patio and stolen the victim’s bicycle. Clift was arrested for 1st Degree Residential Burglary.
A review of the Ventura County Superior Court and Ventura County Sheriff Inmate public records wesbites revealed Clift was arrested on May 26 for commercial burglary and was released later that evening. Clift has been arrested an additional nine time since 2015 for charges including possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of a controlled substance, possession of narcotics paraphernalia, under the influence of a controlled substance, petty theft, possession of an illegal weapon, and receiving stolen property.
Grand Theft and Embezzlement Arrest
During the week of May 18, the Ventura Police Department Street Crimes Unit began investigating an ongoing embezzlement/theft of city property from the Ventura City Maintenance Yard by employee 57 year old Francisco Ceniceros.
Due to the investigation, Ceniceros was placed on administrative leave. On May 27, detectives served a search warrant at Ceniceros’ residence. There, detectives located stolen property that had been identified as belonging to the City of Ventura.
Based on the investigation and the property located, Ceniceros was arrested and booked at the Ventura County Jail for Grand Theft (theft over $950.00) and Embezzlement. The investigation is continuing.