VENTURA COUNTY — Proving once again that persistent, ground-pounding detective work—while not nearly as cinematic as high profile car chases in pursuit of fleeing suspects—is often the undoing of many who are involved in illegal activities, the March 3rd arrests of two local area men may close the chapter on the December 29, 2016, heroin overdose of a 23-year-old resident of Meiner’s Oaks.
According to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Det. Chip Cadman, when VCSD deputies attached to the Ojai Police Department responded to a reported heroin overdose in nearby Meiner’s Oaks at approximately 5:45 a.m. and discovered an unresponsive male at the scene.
Soon thereafter, detectives attached to the VCSD Major Crimes Bureau, the Sheriff’s Narcotics Task Force, and the Ventura Couty Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit and determined that the victim “had passed away as a result of heroin use.”
Following that finding, an investigation into the death ensued “in a coordinated effort” involving numerous inter-agency personnel interviewing all those “associated with the victim and/or involved in selling him drugs.”
Pursuant to the evidence and statements gathered through these interviews and by following several “investigative leads,” multiple search warrants for various individuals were obtained and served upon 26-year-old Ventura resident Gregory Scott Ledbetter and 23-year-old Santa Paula resident Clinton Zachary Erickson.
The fruit of those warrant searches led to the March 3rd arrest of Ledbetter on charges of furnishing heroin to Erickson and involuntary manslaughter for furnishing heroin to the decedent.
Four days later, on March 7th, Erickson was arrested and booked into Ventura County Jail on the same charges.
Photos: courtesy Ventura County Jail Booking