Two arrested in connection to child endangerment in Ventura County

VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. - The Ventura County Sheriff's Office released the details on Friday of the arrests of two people in Carpinteria that involved three local law enforcement agencies. 

The Camarillo Police Department conducted a runaway juvenile investigation that ended with the arrests of Elizabeth Figueroa, 36, and Christopher Welch, 44.

The investigation began in March regarding a minor that had recently run away from a home in Camarillo.

Detectives found that the minor was staying with her sister who was also a runaway juvenile from Oxnard in Carpinteria. The two sisters were reportedly staying with their mother Ms. Figueroa.

Detectives also found that 

Detectives also confirmed Figueroa had a felony warrant for her arrest for being under the influence of a controlled substance with a firearm, and that she was on probation with search terms.

Figueroa was found by detectives while she was walking through a parking lot in the 600 block of County Square Drive in Ventura on April 18.

She was booked into the Ventura County Pre-Trial Detention Facility.

Detectives returned to Figueroa's apartment in the 4800 block of Sandyland Road in Carpinteria to conduct a probation search and found the two runaway minors as well as a ​​​​​​​seven-month-old infant belonging to one of the juveniles.

During the search of Figueroa's apartment, detectives found drug paraphernalia used to ingest controlled substances, a white powdery substance believed to be cocaine, ammunition, three unsecured and fully loaded handguns and one partially built semi-automatic handgun.

These items were all found in areas that the minors were able to access.

Detectives also found evidence that suggested that Christopher Welch was also living in the apartment.

Ventura County Child Protective Services took custody of the runaway minors and the infant and transported them back to Ventura County.

Based on what was found in the apartment, Welch was located in the city of Ventura and arrested. He could face charges related to child endangerment and possession of a controlled substance while armed with a firearm.

Welch was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail for the listed charges. After being booked into jail, Welch soon posted bail and was released.

Members of the Camarillo Special Enforcement Detail and the Ojai Police Department also served a search warrant at Welch's residence in the 1800 block of Country Place in Ojai.

During a search of the residence, detectives found 28 assorted rifles, shotguns, handguns, high-capacity magazines, and multiple silencers.

Detectives confirmed several of the AR-15 and AK-47 style rifles seized fit the criteria of being considered an "assault weapon" and were also in violation of California Penal Code 30605.

It is also illegal to have a silencer in California. 

15,000 rounds of various types of ammunition and all firearms were also seized from the residence.

Welch was arrested and booked into the Ventura County Pre-Trial Detention on April 21.

He could also face charges related to the possession of an assault weapon, possession of large capacity magazines and possession of a silencer.

Welch's bail was set at $250,000. A court date has not been set.



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