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Sheriff Alex Villanueva

Los Angeles County Sheriff and other Officials Announce Crack Down on Illegal Marijuana Operations 1024 1024 SIB Staff

Los Angeles County Sheriff and other Officials Announce Crack Down on Illegal Marijuana Operations

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva and other Officials Announce Crack Down on Illegal Marijuana Operations

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, May 17, 2022, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD), the California National Guard Counterdrug Task Force, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife conducted a joint operation to take down multiple illegal marijuana grows in the Antelope Valley.

Almost a year after the most extensive drug operation in the history of the Sheriff’s Department took place, Sheriff Alex Villanueva returned to let everyone know that the operation continues to this day. In the first four months of 2022, the Marijuana Eradication Team (MET) served 116 marijuana cultivation-related search warrants. One hundred seven people were arrested, 100 were misdemeanors, and seven were felony arrests. Approximately 101,090 marijuana plants were seized, 53 firearms were confiscated, and 14,980 pounds of harvested marijuana were destroyed. 

Continuing in the spring of 2022, LASD narcotics investigators conducted aerial reconnaissance with the California National Guard Counterdrug Task Force. They identified 350 outdoor cultivation sites in the Antelope Valley, down from over 750 locations in 2021. This reduction in cultivation sites is directly related to increased enforcement efforts in the Antelope Valley.

MET investigators served search warrants at 80% of the identified sites and anticipate they will have 100% eradicated by the end of the fall of 2022. Most of these sites are connected to Mexican Cartels, Asian organized crime, and other organized crime groups. These illegal cultivation sites threaten the safety of communities, the environment, and wildlife. The unpermitted water wells being drilled to water the illegal crops affect underground aquifers. 

“We’ve already identified the problems that this causes here in the Antelope Valley. Downstream, illegal cannabis dispensaries in the basin are a source of extreme amounts of violence. You have robberies, you have murders that we’re handling. Other agencies have to handle in the basin, and they’re all tied to the cash trade down in these illegal dispensaries. In fact, illegal dispensaries outnumber the legal one 50 to 1. That will give you the size of the magnitude of the problem that we’re handling right here,” said Sheriff Villanueva.

“Supervisor Barger is thankful to the partners that are gathered here today for their diligent efforts to keep combatting illegal cannabis cultivation. Please know that you can continue to count on Supervisor Barger’s support,” said Helen Chavez on behalf of Supervisor Barger.   

“To any of those who are engaged in the illicit grows, I want you to know that there is a collective effort, and we’re coming after you. You can see, right here in these trailers, where your product is going to end up, and it’s not going to be on our streets. You’ve come after a very sacred thing: our community, you’ve come after our desert, and you’re stealing our water, you’re poisoning our land, and enough is enough! Said Assemblymember for CA 36th District, Tom Lackey.

In July of 2021, the LASD Narcotics investigators created the email address This was done to facilitate and expedite the ability of residents to provide information directly to the detectives investigating marijuana cultivation cases. Detectives strongly encourage the public to use this email address to help eradicate this problem by the fall of 2022.

Press Conference Video

image of award recipeints standing next to the sheriff. Two pastors and the sheriff is next to a podium.
Sheriff awards two Pastors for community Support 1024 794 SIB Staff

Sheriff awards two Pastors for community Support

Sheriff awards two Pastors for community Support

This morning, Sheriff Alex Villanueva recognized Pastor Marvin Rodriguez from “City of Refuge” and Pastor Eric Tietze from “Heart of Compassion Ministry” for their dedication to assist the community and improve their quality of life.

Pastor Rodriguez recruits at-risk children within the city of Pico Rivera and outlying areas into his boxing organization, “Marvin Nation” where he provides them with free lessons, life skills, and a strict moral compass. In 2020, he joined the CAC and had since donated 25,000 boxes of food since the onset of the pandemic.

Pastor Tietze tirelessly serves the Los Angeles County community and his ministry. Over the past three years, Pastor Eric has donated over 40 million pounds of food to community members in need.

Pastors Rodriguez and Tietze were awarded for their humanitarian efforts in feeding thousands of families in need throughout Los Angeles County. 

Sheriff Announces Special Alert form and presents Check to Autism Society of LA 1024 682 SIB Staff

Sheriff Announces Special Alert form and presents Check to Autism Society of LA

Sheriff Alex Villanueva announces special alert form and presents check to Autism Society of Los Angeles

On Monday, November 1st, 2021, Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced the Special Alert program during a press conference at the Hall of Justice. This program will assist deputies when responding to calls that involve those who are suspected of having or have been diagnosed with an intellectual, mental, or physical disability. During this same press conference, Sheriff Villanueva also presented a check from the sale of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department autism lapel pins, to the Autism Society of Los Angeles.

In an effort to better serve and understand the needs of community members suspected of having or diagnosed with a disability, the Department developed a program to allow caregivers or family members to voluntarily provide information about a person living in their home who is suspected of having or has been diagnosed with an intellectual, mental, or physical disability.

If caregivers would like to participate in the program, all they need to do is fill out the Special Alert form that can be accessed on under resources and take it to their nearest Sheriff’s Station. The Department will then enter a “Special Alert” in its computer dispatch system, and deputies will receive certain information when responding. By providing this information in advance, people are alerting deputies about the needs of the person at home who is suspected of having or has been diagnosed with an intellectual, mental, or physical disability. This important information may help them decide how to best approach the situation and what resources to bring with them.

“Thank you Sheriff Villanueva. Just thrilled to hear about the steps that the Sheriff’s Department is taking to improve the safety of encounters between law enforcement and those on the spectrum,” said Andy Kopito, President of the Autism Society of Los Angeles.    

“Having this information really gives everybody a leg up, so we know how to de-escalate it properly, who are the responsible people or what issues might be useful in communicating successfully with this individual,” said Sheriff Villanueva.   Those interested in filling out the Special Alert form, may download it by clicking and take it to their nearest Sheriff’s station.  

We Will Never Forget, September 11, 2001. Image of the american flag waving over the One Trade Center Tower on the left of flag and the Right side of flag are the Twin towers very faint over the orange purple sky.
LASD Remembers and honors the 20th anniversary of 9/11 900 900 SIB Staff

LASD Remembers and honors the 20th anniversary of 9/11

Today marks the 20th Anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

LASD will Never Forget 911!

Sheriff Villanueva speaking at a podium surrounded by Consulates from the Asian and Pacific Island nations of LA County
Archive – Zero Tolerance For Hate Crimes In Los Angeles County 800 408 SIB Staff

Archive – Zero Tolerance For Hate Crimes In Los Angeles County

Press Conference: Sheriff Villanueva, Along With Local Asian Community Groups, Call For Zero Tolerance For Any Hate Crimes And Incidents In Los Angeles County

On Thursday, March 25, 2021, Sheriff Alex Villanueva held a press conference in front of the Hall of Justice to announce his support for the Asian community.  He was joined by; Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles, Akira Muto; Honorary Consul General of Cambodia in Los Angeles, Mr. Kim Chha Hout; Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Los Angeles, Kyung Jae Park; Mayor of Monterey Park, Yvonne Yin; Mayor of San Gabriel, Chin Ho Liao, the support of Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Los Angeles, Zhang Ping, the Sheriff’s Community Advisory Counciland other highly respected community leaders.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been a significant rise in hate crimes against the Asian-American community. The fatal shooting of eight people, including six women of Asian descent, in Atlanta, Georgia, on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, is the latest attack against Asian-Americans, and it shook the nation. Unfortunately, it was not an isolated incident. On Sunday, March 21, 2021, a man disrupted a ‘Stop Asian Hate’ protest in Diamond Bar by driving through a group of protesters while hurling insults against China.

Sheriff Villanueva called for zero tolerance for hate crimes in Los Angeles County, especially towards Asian Americans. He urged people to report crime by calling 911 if it is an emergency, contacting a local law enforcement agency, or remaining anonymous by calling LA Crime Stoppers at 800-222 or by visiting

Undersheriff Tim Murakami talked about his experience as a 4th generation Asian-American. He explained that historically, the Asian community has been very quiet. For the most part, they accept things, overlook them and move on. He urged the community to stand up as a group and realize “they’re Americans, they have the right to be here, they have the right to be respected and the right to be protected.”

Sheriff Villanueva reminded everyone that everyone is looking for the same things in life, security and a sense of belonging at the end of the day. “If you’re a recent arrival or you’ve been here for generations, all of you are welcome in Los Angeles County. We welcome you in this great nation of us,” he concluded.




Today, LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva launched the first of its kind “Wage Theft Task Force” to protect undocumented and documented workers in Southern California.  “Rebuilding trust with our community, in particular the undocumented, is crucial to public safety, I want those wage theft victims to know that their immigration status does not matter,” said Sheriff Alex Villanueva.  This Wage Theft Task Force is a collaboration with the California Labor Commission, the LA County Office of Immigrant Affairs, the LA County District Attorney’s Office, the LA County Federation of Labor and several community groups.

According to a UCLA Labor Center Study, low wage earners are the most vulnerable and a whopping $28 million dollars is stolen every week in Los Angeles County alone due to wage theft by unscrupulous employers.  California Labor Commissioner Lilia Garcia-Brower said, “I applaud Sheriff Villanueva for his leadership to stand up for hard working Angelinos and partner with my office to build a targeted judgment enforcement task force.”

Potential victims of wage theft are urged to reach out to a LASD patrol station to file a complaint, which will be referred to our Special Victims Bureau to investigate.  Upon completion of their investigation, the case may be referred to the DA’s Office and/or the California Labor Commission.  Attorneys will decide if this is a criminal matter or not; however, all victims (regardless of the criminal nature of their case) will be referred to the Office of Immigrant Affairs for further support.  Eventually, after a judge renders a decision and if it is in favor of the victim, LASD will serve the court order to help the victim recover his/her stolen wages.

Virgilio Gonzalez was a live-in healthcare worker for the elderly disabled in a congregate setting.  Virgilio says he was a victim of wage theft and in 2018 after filing a report with the Labor Commission, he received a judgment for nearly $70,000.00 in back pay.  “Wage theft hurt me and my family, it is a crime, and I hope nobody else has to go through what I did,” said Mr. Gonzalez.

LASD is committed to transparency, accountability and public safety for all including the undocumented.

If you are a victim of Wage Theft or know someone who is, click here for more information.

LASD Sheriff's Department Logo
Deputy Clicks and Subgroups Policy 800 170 SIB Staff

Deputy Clicks and Subgroups Policy

Sheriff Alex Villanueva addresses policy on deputy cliques and subgroups With Department Members.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva is the FIRST Los Angeles County Sheriff to successfully implement a policy banning “deputy cliques.” The policy went into effect in February 2020, and a video reinforcing his message was recently released to the Department. All sworn Department members have been briefed and are being held accountable. This is what culture change within the organization looks like.

View LASD Policy

Sheriff Alex Villanueva discusses the LASD policy banning Deputy Cliques.
Picture of Sheriff Alex Villanueva infront of the L A City Skyline, Text reads, In the Community with Sheriff Villanueva – Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Monthly Update of Community Events, Press Conferences and Announcements
In the Community – January 15, 2021 1024 428 SIB Staff

In the Community – January 15, 2021

Transparency via SB 1421: Update

January 12, 2021

Since January 1, 2019, LASD received 3,725 SB-1421 record requests, and to date, 3,593 of those requests have been fulfilled.  In addition, 335 cases have been publicly posted on under the “Transparency” tab.  There is more to come, now that funding has been approved for the much needed tracking and redaction software… READ MORE

LASD Sheriff Villanueva Responds to #VictimsMatter

January 7, 2021

Los Angeles County Sheriff Villanueva firmly believes, “We are not safer by putting the interests of offenders over the needs of victims of crime.”… READ MORE AND VIEW VIDEO

LASD Assists Our Public Health Partners in Distributing the COVID-19 Vaccine

January 6, 2021

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is proud to assist our public health partners in this historical and monumental mission to distribute the Covid-19 vaccine. The goal is to help slow the spread of COVID-19… READ MORE

Malibu Search and Rescue Team Rescues Injured Hiker 

January 05, 2021

Never a dull moment with the Malibu Search and Rescue Team. These types of specialized teams have been utilized during a critical call for service. Their swift action has resulted in saving countless lives. Just recently, an injured hiker recently was rescued from Malibu State Creek Park… READ MORE

Sheriff Alex Villanueva Recaps LASD and Super-Spreader Enforcement for December, 2020

DECEMBER 30, 2020

LASD Super-Spreader Enforcement Team has been hard at work tracking Super-Spreader events during the Month December, 2020… READ MORE

LASD Sheriff Alex Villanueva and the Dream Center Co-Founder Pastor Matthew Barnett Build Community Partnerships

December 31, 2020

The year 2020 has been a difficult and challenging time for many families and communities. It was a privilege to be a part of “The First Responders Toy Giveaway” event to show appreciation to the residents we serve… READ MORE AND VIEW VIDEO

LASD Seize Large Amount of Drugs and Illegal Firearms 960 768 SIB Staff

LASD Seize Large Amount of Drugs and Illegal Firearms

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Operation Safe Streets Bureau Seize Large Amount of Drugs and Illegal Firearms

On the morning of Tuesday, December 1, 2020, Detectives from Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Operation Safe Streets (OSS) Bureau, conducted a follow up investigation involving a felon in possession of a firearm. Detectives authored and served two search warrants for two locations in the city of El Monte.

During the search warrant, detectives seized eight firearms and a large amount of narcotics which included over 100 lbs. of methamphetamines and approximately 15 lbs. of heroin. Two suspects, both adult males, were arrested for felon in possession of loaded firearms and narcotics for the purposes of sales.

“Despite trying times, our personnel continues to proactively provide the best public safety possible. A lot of delinquent lifestyles start at a young age and involve drugs, gangs and of course, violence. I’m really proud of our OSS Bureau’s dedication, determination and commitment to keep our community safe,” said Sheriff Villanueva.

OSS provides enforcement aimed at combating the criminal activities of hard-core gangs, while intervening to discourage youth from continuing in gang activities.  

Even in the middle of a pandemic criminal activity does not stop. This year, teams from OSS have arrested 461 suspects for violent crimes, and they have seized 305 firearms and conducted 470 search warrant operations.

Anyone who sees activity that appears to be suspicious or criminal in nature should contact their local sheriff’s station, or remain anonymous and call “Crime Stoppers” at (800) 222-TIPS.

LASD and LAPD Partner to combat hunger 1024 683 SIB Staff

LASD and LAPD Partner to combat hunger

LASD and LAPD Partner to combat hunger

October 30, 2020, at about 11:30 am, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, accompanied by Department members,  LAPD Officers, and LAPD Deputy Chief Jorge Rodriguez held a food drive for community members.
Held at the Greg Smith LAPD Devonshire PALS Youth Center, community members arrived from across the Valley, lining their vehicles to receive donated care baskets and other non-perishable food items. As community members’ vehicles formed an extensive line across lanes of Parthenia Street just east of Wilbur Avenue, deputies and officers were joined by the Devonshire Police Activities League Supporters, Los Angeles City Councilmember John Lee, Members of the LASD Community Advisory Council, and MEND (Meet Each Need with Dignity).  

Hundreds of families expressed their thanks to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies and Los Angeles Police Officers as they placed boxes and bags of non-perishable foods into their vehicles. Los Angeles Police Deputy Chief Jorge Rodriguez and Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva also took an active role in handing out food to families. The vehicle traffic went on for a few hours, as more and more community members formed lines and patiently awaited their turn.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department understands the hardship and challenges individuals and families face during these uncertain times. We believe it is our duty to protect our community from crime and lend a helping hand. Economic hardships and life hurdles have affected everyone during this covid-19 outbreak. We hope that this partnership between Los Angeles law enforcement, the city, and our non-profit organizations brings more help to the community in need. It is this dedication to our community that defines the character of our service.
LAPD Officers and LASD Deputies have profound care for the community, and our efforts to curve hunger are a reflection of that sentiment. We hope that this engagement resonates with the community and builds a solid bridge of trust and understanding.

The Sheriff’s Department is thankful to the Temple Ramat Zion, One Generation, the Greater Los Angeles Food Bank, and Goya Foods of California for their generous contributions. A Special Thanks to Jack Kayajian, who dedicated hundreds of volunteered hours and his ability to navigate through the most challenging times, made this event a success.