Simi Valley police break up heroin delivery service

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (KABC) -- Police in Ventura County broke up a so-called heroin delivery service, and authorities say it is part of a growing heroin epidemic.

Simi Valley Deputy Police Chief Joseph May said his detectives cracked a heroin delivery ring this week after months of undercover work.

It came after two Simi Valley men died from heroin overdoses in 2016. Both had ordered the drug through the same delivery service.

"The users will make a phone call to a, what we call a dispatcher, and then the dispatcher will phone the order into what we call runners, and the runners will deliver the drugs," explained May.

On Wednesday, officers arrested three men in Simi Valley, Torrance and Fullerton -- the result of three months of undercover operations.

Ventura County as a whole is seeing a booming heroin problem.

In November, the sheriff's office arrested 13 people after a 46-year-old Thousand Oaks man died from a heroin overdose. In addition, last September, a heroin overdose claimed the life of a 16-year-old Thousand Oaks boy.

"They're hooked after a week," said advocate John Poleno. "It's one of the most addictive drugs out there."

Poleno is with "Not One More," a Simi Valley-based drug addiction support group.

Poleno said parents need to realize heroin has worked its way into every community. Kids are even graduating to the opiate after getting hooked on pain killers found in their parents' medicine cabinets.

"It's definitely a suburb problem," he said. "It's easy for parents to give $20 to their kid and they think the kid is going to the movies and they're not, they're going and sitting in a friend's house and using heroin."

Simi Valley police said that is why it's important for residents to call in tips about heroin sales and use.

Their recent arrests, they admit, just skim the surface, and these days the actual dealers are far removed from the exchange of drugs.
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