Two sentenced in Ventura County avocado caper

Three suspects stole $200,000 in avocados

VENTURA, Calif. - Two men accused of stealing over $200,000 worth of avocados from a facility in Ventura County were sentenced on Friday.

Carlos Chavez, 29, of Oxnard and Joseph Valenzuela, 38, of Santa Paula will spend two years in county jail, with 18 months of probation, Ventura County District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced.

Chavez and Valenzuela entered guilty pleas to felony grand theft and conspiracy and admitted a special allegation for taking over $200,000 worth of avocados. 

Chavez and Valenzuela -- along with a third suspect, Rahim Leblanc -- worked at a Mission Produce facility in Oxnard.

Over six months in 2017, the three stole and sold large amounts of avocados from the facility for cash.

Sheriff’s deputies executed a search warrant at Chavez’s house and found about $143,000 in cash from a safe. Chavez has agreed to forfeit the money for victim restitution, as part of his guilty plea,

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