Pair in custody for overdose death in Thousand Oaks

On May 11, 2014, Bradley Marquez died from an overdose of heroin and valium at a residence in the 3300 block of Hollygrove, Thousand Oaks. After several months of investigation, multiple search warrants, and numerous interviews, detectives from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit and the Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit concluded their investigation with the arrest of Corita Aburto and Mateo Peterson for their role in Marquez’ death.

The investigation revealed all three subjects were using heroin and valium at Aburto’s residence on May 11, 2014, in the 3300 block of Hollygrove, Thousand Oaks. Marquez suffered an overdose from the drugs. Instead of immediately calling 911, Peterson, Aburto, and another subject at the residence, who happened to be a nurse, attempted to treat him themselves. After several hours and no improvement in his condition, Marquez was dragged out of the house and left at a neighbor’s door step. Peterson and Aburto then attempted to destroy and hide Marquez’ phone and then Peterson “discovered” Marquez and called 911. Peterson initially disavowed any knowledge of Marquez’ identity and Aburto hid in the residence. Paramedics responded and pronounced death.

The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office filed one count of §11366 of the California Health and Safety Code / Maintaining a Place for drug use or sales against Aburto. The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office filed one count of §32 of the California Penal Code / Accessory after the fact and one count of §135 of the California Penal Code / Destroying or concealing evidence against Peterson. The investigation is continuing as to who supplied Marquez the drugs and additional charges are possible.

The Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit is a task force comprised of members from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, Simi Valley Police Department, the District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigation, and the California Highway Patrol. 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 overdose deaths due to both prescription medication and illicit drug use. Anyone with information regarding these topics is encouraged to contact the Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit at (805) 383-8700 or via e-mail at [email protected]

The task force investigates all drug related overdose deaths in the County of Ventura and will continue to aggressively pursue all individuals involved in the furnishing of drugs resulting in another person’s death. Arrests will be made and cases will be presented to the District Attorney’s Office in investigations where investigators believe charges can and should be filed. All too often, young adults begin their opiate addiction innocently enough with exposure to prescription medication received for an injury. They may also be introduced to medication through friends or family. Prescription medication use, sometimes leads to abuse. This abuse of highly addictive, yet very expensive drugs, regularly leads to heroin use. Heroin users become heroin dealers to support their habits. It is a vicious cycle that very frequently ends in tragedy and death.


The PCU supports responsible prescribing and dispensing of opiate medication from doctors and pharmacists, in the hope that increased scrutiny from medical professionals will curtail heroin abuse in the future. Several sources state that the United States has about 5% of the world’s population but consumes nearly 80% of the opiate medications produced, most notably 99% of the world’s hydrocodone (Vicodin).

Thousand Oaks Police–Ventura County Sheriff’s Office

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