A Newhall man convicted of a possession charge after local deputies arrested him on suspicion of selling marijuana to minors in 2021 was arrested on the same charge earlier this month, and now stands charged with eight counts, including child abuse.
Deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Juvenile Intervention Team, or J-Team, have been tracking a rise in narcotics-related arrests and overdoses at various schools in the William S. Hart Union High School District, according to sworn statements filed by detectives in connection with their investigation.
A number of student interviews all yielded the same social media username, according to investigators, and a J-Team investigator recognized the name from a previous investigation.
After obtaining a search warrant for the home and vehicle of the suspect the J-Team investigator identified — Christian Navarro, 24, who had a previous conviction — investigators found a litany of photos on his social media, some advertising THC-infused vape products, psilocybin mushrooms and customers they were able to identify as minors.
Detectives wrote in court documents that the buyers appeared to use Venmo in order to purchase their products.
Investigators who searched the home where Navarro lived with his mother reported finding bags of marijuana, a pricing sheet, three guns, a digital scale and various paraphernalia, according to court records obtained by The Signal.
Navarro now stands accused of eight felony counts, including three counts of child abuse and five felony counts of furnishing marijuana to a minor. In the new complaint, marking a departure from previous policies, the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office is also filing a pair of allegations regarding aggravated circumstances, to wit, Rule 4.421(a)(3) the victims were particularly vulnerable, and Rule 4.421 (b)(5) The defendant’s prior performance on probation, mandatory supervision, post-release community supervision, or parole was unsatisfactory.
In Navarro’s previous case, he was arrested in February 2021 and charged with three counts of furnishing marijuana to a minor over the age of 14, marijuana possession with intent to sell, child abuse and employing a minor to sell marijuana.
Navarro pleaded no contest to the possession with intent charge May 11, 2021, and the other charges were dropped, according to Los Angeles County Superior Court records available online. He was sentenced to four days in jail and summary probation.
The DA’s office did not have a date for Navarro’s preliminary arraignment as of this story’s publication.
The DA’s office has recommended $380,000 bail for Navarro, but he appears to have been released June 9, per Sheriff’s Department records online, three days after his initial arrest.