On December 15, 2015, officers from the Oxnard Police Department responded to a residence in the 1000 block of Offshore Street in the City of Oxnard regarding a death investigation. When officers and EMS arrived, they found a person unresponsive. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Officers learned the decedent’s name was Christopher Ariaz, 32. Evidence recovered at the scene indicated Ariaz possibly died from a heroin overdose. An investigator from the Ventura County Narcotics Task Force responded to the scene. Investigators identified a probable source of Ariaz’ heroin as Oxnard resident Ryan Tepezano, 36.
On January 28, 2016 at 5 a.m., detectives from the Ventura County Narcotics Task Force and members of the Oxnard Police Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) served search warrants at two residences next door to one another in the 2000 block of Curran Street in the City of Oxnard. During the service of the search warrant, Ryan Tepezano was arrested for maintaining a place for drug use and/or sales, under the influence of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, possession of narcotics paraphernalia, and felon in possession of a firearm. Tepezano was booked into the Ventura County Jail and later plead guilty and is currently serving his sentence at the Todd Road Jail Facility.
On Wednesday, April 27, 2016, narcotic detectives concluded their investigation into Ariaz’ death with the presentation of the case to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office. Tepezano was arrested at the Todd Road Jail Facility for manslaughter and sales of heroin with an enhancement of causing great bodily injury. Tepezano remains in custody at the Todd Road Jail Facility. His bail was set at $250,000 and he is scheduled to be arraigned on the new charges on April 29, 2016, at 1:30 p.m. Anyone with information in this investigation is encouraged to contact Detective James Langford at 805-384-4775.
The Ventura County Narcotic Task Force – West County Street Team is made up of detectives from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, Santa Paula Police Department, and the Oxnard Police Department. These detectives work cooperatively in the investigation of narcotics offenses occurring in the western portion of Ventura County.