Arrests made in stepped up parole and probation sweeps

State parole agents focus their efforts on an area of Canyon Country near Sierra Vista Junior High on Aug. 3, 2017. Emily Giordano/For The Signal
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If you’re living in the Santa Clarita Valley with a recent criminal past, then don’t be surprised if you get a visit from any number of law enforcement agencies stepping up their checks on parloees and probationers.

Regular and frequent parole and probation sweeps carried out across the Santa Clarita Valley since March have netted a variety of interesting suspects.

“If you’re having trouble keeping track of all of the parole, probation searches we’ve been doing, it’s not just you,” said Shirley Miller, spokeswoman with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station wrote in a recent sheriff’s Facebook post.

“We are doing them all the time with the help of our specialized teams,” she wrote.

State parole agents focus their efforts on an area of Canyon Country near Sierra Vista Junior High on Aug. 3, 2017. Emily Giordano/For The Signal

On Saturday, members of the local sheriff’s Special Assignment Team knocked on a lot of SCV doors, checking to see if people on probation and parole were obeying the conditions of their release from custody.

“They checked locations in Saugus and Valencia,” Miller said.

“At some of the addresses, the parolees were found to be in compliance and others the parolee was no longer living there which will generate an immediate notification to the assigned parole officer,” she said.

“When they knocked on the door of a house on Barbacoa Drive, however, they found a compliant parolee but arrested the parolee’s stepfather,” Miller said.

“When Special Assignment Team team deputies went to a location on Barbacoa Drive, it checked out fine when it came to compliance for the parolee, however, the parolee’s stepfather was visiting the location and he was found to have several outstanding warrants for theft and narcotics.

The stepfather, 43, was arrested by deputies on the warrants and transported and booked at SCV Sheriff’s Station.

On Thursday, two days prior to the SAT search on Saturday, a joint forces team of more than a dozen specialized law enforcement officers went looking for registered sex offenders.

At least 15 officers concentrated their search efforts near Pleasantdale Street, near Sierra Vista Junior High School, raising the eyebrows of some parents.

The mother of one young student registering for school that day, expressed concern at seeing so many law enforcement officers at the school.

“The operation centered around compliance checks and searches of PC 290 registrants (sex offenders) in the Santa Clarita and Canyon Country areas,” said Luis Patino, spokesman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

California Penal Code 290 refers to Sex Offender Registration Act.

Herman Stevens.

“This event was specific to parolees with convictions for Lewd and Lascivious acts against Children and Possession of Child Pornography,” Patino told The Signal.

“DAPO personnel, in concert with the FBI and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office Investigative Division, conducted this operation with an emphasis on forensic examination of the target’s cell phones and computer equipment.

“There were four parolees contacted during this operation to include Herman Stevens,” Patino said.

“Parolee Stevens was arrested when it was determined that he was in violation of his terms and conditions of parole,” he said.

Stevens, of Canyon Country, was convicted in 2010 of annoying or molesting a child under 18 years of age.

The sweep carried out by local sheriff’s deputies Saturday and the one carried out by Corrections officers Thursday was the latest in a series of checks executed since March.

The day after a sweep carried out two weeks ago, a Newhall man was sentenced to three years in prison.

Edgar Infante, a 28-year-old mechanic who lives in Newhall, was arrested Thursday morning on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance, by deputies of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station’s Juvenile Team called the Career Offenders, Burglary, and Robbery Apprehension Team – or COBRA.

Infante was arrested in a massive probation sweep carried out across Santa Clarita on July 31.

In June, more than 30 armed deputies in five teams carried out probation checks at close to two dozen locations across the Santa Clarita Valley, making sure probationers are behaving, Captain Robert Lewis of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station told The Signal Tuesday.

“We want to help them reach their goal of staying clean,” Lewis said, at the time.

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Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Capt. Robert Lewis searches a barbecue grill during an investigation at a home on the 24000 block of Arch Street in Newhall on June 6, 2017 as Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Stripin looks on. (Austin Dave/The Signal) (Austin Dave/The Signal)

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