Here is a summary of recent incidents and announcements from Ventura County agencies:
Crews are tackling a structure fire in Oak View
VENTURA COUNTY — County firefighters extinguished a blaze in a residential area in Oak View early Tuesday.
Crews responded to the 200 block of Larmier Avenue, near the intersection with Vine Street, just after 2:50 a.m. An exterior fire involving a trailer had spread to the attic of a residence, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.
The block is located in a mostly residential area on the west side of Highway 33 in Oak View, an unincorporated Ojai Valley community.
Ventura County sheriff’s deputies also responded because there were initial reports that two residents were possibly trapped, Capt. Trina Newman said, although everyone was able to get out of the residence on their own.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known.
Stolen property found at the bottom of the river
VENTURA COUNTY — Authorities recovered stolen property and made multiple arrests during a sting operation on the bottom of the Santa Clara River near Santa Paula last week.
Ventura County sheriff’s detectives conducted a joint investigation with the Santa Paula Police Department after a spike in thefts in July, the sheriff’s office said Tuesday.
Detectives with the Fillmore Sheriff’s Office previously arrested a 33-year-old man, described as a transient, for allegedly stealing about 80 feet of telecommunications cable from Southern California Edison utility poles — which cost the company about $10,000 to replace — from lines near at South Mountain and Balcom Canyon roads last month.
Sheriff’s personnel worked with Santa Paula police to track down evidence related to the theft of copper wire, which led agencies to suspects living on the river bottom. Santa Paula detectives also had evidence that allegedly linked the suspects to thefts in the city.
Last Thursday the agencies carried out an operation at the bottom of the river. They arrested nine people: two for outstanding warrants and seven for suspected drug violations. One of the nine was also arrested on suspicion of property theft, while another was arrested on suspicion of a deadly weapons violation.
Authorities recovered stolen equipment, including power tools and an electric bicycle. The recovered property is being held at the Santa Paula Police Department while detectives identify the property owners.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Fillmore Sheriff’s Department at 805-524-2233 or Santa Paula Police at 805-525-4474.
Increased jet activity continues at Point Mugu
VENTURA COUNTY — Increased jet activity at Naval Base Ventura County, Point Mugu will continue through early next month.
More jets have been flying in and out of the base since last week due to multiple tests.
The tests involve about 50 aircraft in the region. The increased activity seen on Monday will continue until September 2. The trials are conducted to provide training for pilots and aircrew at Point Mugu.
Local residents in the Camarillo and Oxnard areas may hear additional noise from jet activity during the test events. More details are available by calling NBVC at 805-989-9234.
YouTuber guilty of using pepper spray
VENTURA – A jury on Monday found a San Luis Obispo man guilty in a misdemeanor case involving pepper spray.
Gabriel Rosas, 37, went live on YouTube in August 2021 after entering a private industrial business district in Ventura, according to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office. Several business owners asked him to leave, but he refused, eventually pepper spraying a business owner in the face.
After a jury found him guilty of using tear gas not in self-defense, Ventura County Superior Court Judge Derek Malan sentenced Rosas to 45 days in the Ventura County Jail and 12 months of probation, prosecutors said.
Former Oxnard resident convicted in federal child pornography case
LOS ANGELES — A former Oxnard resident was sentenced to more than 19 years in federal prison Tuesday after previously pleading guilty in a porn case involving a 10-year-old Colorado girl.
Barry Bryant “Ben” Rossman, 63, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Stanley Blumenfeld Jr. in Los Angeles. The sentence included 235 months in federal prison, $427.50 in restitution and a lifetime of supervised release, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
Rossman, who previously lived in Oxnard and Santa Rosa in northern California, pleaded guilty in May to one count each of producing child pornography, inducing a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity and receiving child pornography.
In late 2019 and January 2020, Rossman had posed online as a 21-year-old named Ben and interacted via Instagram with a 10-year-old girl from Colorado. Through a series of tricks, he convinced the girl to send sexually exploitative photos, videos and messages, prosecutors said. The girl’s mother called the police when she found the messages on her daughter’s phone.
Authorities executed a search warrant at Rossman’s home in Oxnard in May 2020. A search of his Instagram account showed he had contacted “at least” hundreds of minors with similar tricks about 1,633 times, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
“For his sexual gratification … Rossman lied to, groomed and manipulated children into performing sexual acts too young to understand,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum.
The case was investigated by the FBI and the Erie Police Department in Colorado.
Details may be updated if new information becomes available.
This article originally appeared in the Ventura County Star: Crews tackle Oak View fire, conviction in child pornography case, more