Simi Valley Police Show Off Seized Heroin Balloons, Cash - NBC Southern California

Simi Valley Police Show Off Seized Heroin Balloons, Cash

They believe they've made a dent in a growing problem



    Lt. Dave Livingstone shows NBC4 some of the items seized in a heroin bust that also led to the arrest of three people. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from Simi Valley. (Published Friday, March 30, 2012)

    Simi Valley police may have made a major dent in the heroin problem that has been afflicting the city after a six-month investigation led to three arrests and the confiscation of black tar heroin worth an estimated $300,000.

    More than five pounds of heroin was seized in an operation that authorities said shut down a heroin pipeline into the city. Apparently, they moved in just in time because the heroin was already packed in colorful balloons, ready to hit the streets.

    Police have asked the Los Angeles District Attorney to file charges against Jose Carillo-Flores, 23,
    Joseph Ramirez Ortiz, 19 and Jose Medina Zepeda, 39.

    Last year, 14 people died of drug overdoses in Simi Valley, most of them from using heroin. Police said the money seized along with the drugs was just one step toward combating the problem.

    Miami Police Department

    “Six-million-dollar-a-year business? To shut that down is huge. So I think it makes a significant dent,” said Lt. Dave Livingstone, of the Simi Valley Police Department Special Operations program.

    But it did not come soon enough for Susan Klimusko who lost her 23 year old son Austin to a heroin overdose.

    “It’s the reality of your child never coming back through the door. It is very sad,” she said.

    Klimusko said she is happy that attention is being paid to the drug problem in Simi Valley and neighboring communities. She said she wishes no other family would have to go through the pain of losing someone to heroin.

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