VENTURA COUNTY — Craigslist can be a wonderful online tool for finding all kinds of things offered for sale or trade. Bicycles, furniture, that formerly state-of-the-art bulky 200-lb TV set… they’re all easy to find, each in their own specific categories.
Apparently, however, there is another category that has not gone unnoticed by law enforcement: illegal drugs and controlled substances.
As it happens, according to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Victor Fazio, more than a few police agencies peruse Craigslist with the specific objective of interdicting the illegal trafficking of drugs on the website.
Among them is the Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit, a hydra-headed unit comprised of personnel and resources from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, the Simi Valley Police Department, the Thousand Oaks Police Department, the District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigation, the California Highway Patrol, the Health Quality Investigation Unit of the California Division of Investigation, and the California Department of Healthcare Services.
Tasked with the job of “combatting the transfer of legal prescription medication to the illegal market” and proactively staying up-to-speed on trends of drug abuse, detectives from the IPCU are not unfamiliar with the landscape at Craigslist.org.
It was just that awareness and ongoing online surveillance of Craigslist.org that made the IPCU aware of “an advertisement offering Roxicodone for sale,” and prompted an undercover investigator to make contact with the individual posting the ad.
That contact with the seller led to a meeting for the purposes of transacting the sale of the powerful opioid, at which time Los Angeles resident Cody Harvey was contacted and found to be in possession of 200 oxycodone pills while himself exhibiting signs of drug intoxication.
Harvey was arrested at the scene and transported to Ventura County Jail, where he was charged with possession for sales of a controlled substance, offering to sell a controlled substance, and driving under the influence, with his bail set at $50,000.
Photo: Courtesy Ventura County Jail Booking