A father pushing his 3-month-old baby in a stroller was arrested for allegedly selling heroin to another man near a Southern California middle school, authorities said.
Gabriel Flores was arrested near De Anza Middle School in Ventura on Friday morning. He was booked into jail on charges including sales of heroin with an enhancement of dealing near a school, possession of heroin for sale, and child endangerment.
The case broke after authorities said they began noticing the use and sale of heroin and Xanax in Ventura among teens and young adults since the latter part of 2014. Detectives said there were several probable heroin overdose deaths in the city as well.
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An investigation into Flores was launched when detectives learned he was allegedly selling heroin within 50 feet of De Anza Middle School on multiple occasions, Ventura County Sheriff's officials said in a news release.
The drug sales did not occur on the school property, but the suspect allegedly sold the drugs while school was in session. None of the buyers had any connection to the school, officials said.
Detectives conducting surveillance on Flores saw him leave his apartment pushing a stroller with his 3-month-old baby seated inside. Detectives then saw Flores allegedly deal heroin with another man, who was arrested on a less-serious misdemeanor heroin possession charge.
Flores' 3-month-old baby was released to Ventura County Child Protective Services.
A search warrant turned up heroin packaged for sale, used syringes, and a syringe loaded with suspected heroin.
The items were found in a location easily accessible by two other children, ages 5 and 6, also living at the apartment. The children were also released to Ventura County Child Protective Services.