Overdose Death Leads to Arrest


Ventura County Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit (PCU)

On April 1, 2021, the Sheriff’s Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit (PCU) and the Thousand Oaks Police Directed Enforcement Unit (DEU) concluded a five-month investigation into known narcotics dealer Sergio Herrera. Herrera was determined to be the source of narcotics in an overdose death of a local Thousand Oaks college student.

On November 9, 2020, Thousand Oaks patrol deputies were dispatched to the campus of California Lutheran University for a female student having a medical emergency. The victim was treated by paramedics and later transported via ambulance to the hospital.  Unfortunately, lifesaving efforts were unsuccessful, and the female was pronounced deceased at Los Robles Hospital. 

Detectives from the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau and from the PCU were contacted and responded to assist with the death investigation.  After a lengthy investigation, Herrera was found to be the source of the narcotics that caused the overdose death.

On April 1, 2021, PCU and DEU detectives were conducting surveillance in the area of 1500 South Bundy Drive in Los Angeles when they observed Herrera in a silver BMW that was parked in a convenience store parking lot. Herrera was contacted and arrested without incident. Detectives searched Herrera and his vehicle.  As a result of the search, detectives located a large amount of illegally pressed fentanyl pills that were similar to those that are believed to have caused the overdose death in Thousand Oaks. 

Herrera was arrested and booked at the Ventura County Sheriff’s Main Jail for 11351 HS- Possession for Sales of Controlled Substance and 11352 HS- Sales of Controlled Substance.  Herrera was released from custody and given a future court date. 

The public may contact investigators from the Ventura County Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit at (805) 383-8700 or [email protected] with additional information about this case, or any other information related to narcotics.

The Ventura County Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit is a task force made up of members from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office and the Thousand Oaks Police Department; The primary mission of the task force is combatting the transfer of legal prescription medication to the illegal market. In addition, the task force works to identify and stop new trends of abuse among the younger population and investigates overdoses due to both prescription medication and illicit drug use. 

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