Ventura County – The upscale cities of Thousand Oaks and Westlake Village are prime markets for the “ride share” operations now sweeping the nation and competing head-to-head with local, licensed taxicab companies. The current leader in this service offering, Uber, has become a favorite of smartphone users who can summon a ride in a privately-owned vehicle at very short notice.
What those Uber customers can’t count on, however, is the driving skill of their amateur chauffeurs; it was this element of risk that proved problematic on January 28th when the car Cody Jens, 24, and Luke Karasiuk, 22, were riding in late that morning was pulled over in a routine traffic stop pursuant to a vehicle code violation observed by a passing Thousand Oaks Police patrol unit.
According to TOPD spokesman Cpt. Jim Fryoff, Jens and Karasiuk were in the rear seat of a car being used at the time for Uber services, and “were found to be in possession of approximately one quarter pound of concentrated cannabis” as well as cash in the amount of $2000. A field investigation immediately ensued in which it was determined that the two young men were using Uber to drive them to various locations for the purposes of selling and distributing their “honey oil,” as concentrated cannabis extract is referred to in street parlance. Fryoff reported that the two young men had “well over a thousand dosage units of the product” with them in the backseat of the Uber vehicle.
With their Uber ride at an end, both Jens and Karasiuk were given a cost-free ride at the behest of arresting officers and were transported to Ventura County Jail where they were booked on charges of possession of a controlled substance for sale.
The Uber driver was not a suspect in any crime other than driving poorly, and will presumably be a bit more careful about which passengers he picks up.
Photos: Courtesy Ventura County Jail booking
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