THOUSAND OAKS (CBSLA.com) — Ventura County officials Wednesday discussed recent criminal cases involving the sale of narcotics through the popular advertisement website, Craigslist.
A news conference was held at 10 a.m. at the East County Sheriff’s Station in Thousand Oaks.
Members of the Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit have made multiple arrests involving people selling drugs on Craigslist over the past several months. Investigators were able to arrange to buy 14 different drugs — including Adderall, Oxycontin, Xanax and cocaine — from individuals who advertised controlled substances for sale on the site.
Authorities also discussed possible legislation to hold operators of Internet sites, such as Craigslist, accountable for facilitating illegal transactions.
CBS2’s Jeff Nguyen spoke to Simi Valley mother Melissa Sebers about the dangers of selling prescription painkillers over the Internet.
Sebers’ daughter Lindsay died as a result of ready access to pills.
“It goes from pills to heroin every time,” said Sebers, “Every addict you talk to goes from pills to heroin.”
At the Sheriff’s news conference, Gary Pentis, Ventura County Assistant Sheriff, said, “If you’re on Craigslist selling dope, we’re going to put you in jail.”
The Sheriff’s Department recently formed a task force to specifically go after anyone who is pushing prescription pills.
State Senator Ted Lieu said more people die from prescription pain killers than coke and heroin combined.
The task force has made more than 20 arrests since July.
Nguyen reports that one person arrested was Dr. Kiansi Boni of Oxnard who officials said was writing prescriptions for controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose.
Dr. Boni is out on bail. He told Nguyen, off camera, that he was fighting the charges.
Sebers is hoping that Craigslist will stop allowing the sale of narcotics so as not to have another family deal with the kind of pain she is enduring.
“I think about Lindsay every day,” Sebers said, “My heart will be broken forever.”