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Ventura County Sheriff's Office
Wednesday February 21st, 2024 :: 03:27 p.m. PST


Arrests Made in Illegal Residential Marijuana Cultivation Investigation

Nature of Incident: Arrests Made in Illegal Residential Marijuana Cultivation Investigation
Report Number: 2024-18860
Location: 1100 block of Calle Contento, Thousand Oaks
5600 block of Irvine Ave., North Hollywood
7000 block of Park Manor Ave., North Hollywood
Date & Time: 2/14/2024 @ 7:00 AM
Unit(s) Responsible: Ventura County Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit; Thousand Oaks Directed Enforcement Unit; National Guard Counter Drug Task Force; Thousand Oaks Code Compliance; Thousand Oaks Building Division; Thousand Oaks Public Works
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent

City of Residence

(S) Vilen Ayvazyan
(S) Hovannes Barseghyan
North Hollywood
North Hollywood
During the month of September 2023, Sheriff’s narcotics detectives initiated an investigation based on received information regarding a possible illegal residential marijuana grow in the city of Thousand Oaks.  Detectives learned two brothers, Vilen Ayvazyan and Hovannes Barseghyan, had established a large-scale illegal marijuana grow operation inside a residence located in the 1100 block of Calle Contento in Thousand Oaks. The investigation showed Ayvazyan owned the residence and oversaw the entire operation, while Barseghyan conducted the day-to-day tasks related to the grow.
On February 14, 2024, narcotics detectives executed search warrants at Ayvazyan’s and Barseghyan’s residences in North Hollywood, as well as at the Thousand Oaks residence containing the grow.  Ayvazyan and Barseghyan were taken into custody at their respective residences and detectives seized numerous items of evidence linking Ayvazyan and Barseghyan to the Thousand Oaks grow operation.  A total of four firearms and numerous items consistent with evidence of identity theft were also found.
Detectives found the Calle Contento residence had been completely converted for the purpose of growing marijuana. The kitchen had been completely removed aside from a lone refrigerator, all but one restroom was removed, and the living areas had been completely converted into controlled environments for the various stages of growing and harvesting marijuana.  Intricate timing, lighting, irrigation, and fertilization mechanisms had been run throughout the location.  Detectives located two large rooms full of harvested marijuana that was in the process of drying.  In total, detectives seized over 160 pounds of marijuana along with additional evidence linking Ayvazyan and Barseghyan.
Based on the investigation and the state of the residence, detectives requested the assistance of numerous experts from the city of Thousand Oaks including Code Compliance, Building Division, and Public Works.  These experts determined the electric meter for the residence had been dangerously bypassed, causing a significant fire hazard.  The bypass of the meter was also determined to have an estimated value loss of over $50,000.  The residence was also deemed uninhabitable pending repairs.
Ayvazyan and Barseghyan were booked into the Ventura County Jail on various narcotic and theft of services related charges.  Ayvazyan remains in custody with a court date of 2/21/2024, while Barseghyan was released on his own recognizance with his next court date of 4/4/2024.
Detectives are continuing to investigate any possible identity theft crimes committed by Ayvazyan and Barseghyan.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit remains vigilant in pursuing investigations into marijuana related crimes that negatively impact the citizens of Ventura County.  We encourage all citizens to continue to report criminal or suspected criminal circumstances to their local law enforcement agency.
Prepared by: Sergeant Dan Ashmore  
News Release Date: 2/21/2024  
Media Follow-Up Contact: Detective S. Moss
Approved by:
Booking Photo Release:
Captain Ron Chips
YES     NO  
Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime.  The caller may remain anonymous.  The call is not recorded.  Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

Ventura County Sheriff's Office
800 S Victoria Ave
Ventura, CA 93003

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 805-654-9511

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