Members of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station’s Juvenile Intervention Team (J-Team) received an anonymous tip from a local resident regarding suspicious narcotic activity at a local pharmacy in the 27800 block of Smyth Drive, Valencia.
A surveillance operation was conducted by the J-Team and the Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station Narcotics Crew. They observed the suspect, later identified as Michael Lyadda, 42, of Valencia, meeting with several males in the parking lot. The males entered the pharmacy with the suspect and exited several minutes later, each holding bags containing medications.
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The males then handed the medications to Lyadda who entered a vehicle and left the location. The three males left in a separate vehicle and were stopped by a patrol unit and arrested. An investigation into a possible prescription drug distribution ring was initiated. Additional surveillance operations were conducted, with Lyadda leading deputies to other pharmacies where similar fraudulent activity took place.
The initial local investigation culminated in a joint operation on Wednesday, February 15, involving more than 20 deputies from the Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station’s J-Team, Narcotics Crew, Crime Prevention Team, and the Crime Impact Team.
During the operation, sheriff’s personnel tracked the suspect throughout the Santa Clarita Valley where a number of crimes were witnessed and 12 accomplices were arrested.
Suspect Lyadda was arrested and was found to be in possession of nearly 700 Oxycodone pills with an estimated street resale value of $10,000.
Oxycodone pills have been directly connected to a number of Santa Clarita overdose cases in past years affecting many lives of local youths and their families.
Following the arrests, deputies served search warrants at two locations in the Santa Clarita Valley. One at the suspect’s primary residence in the 27000 block of Edgewater Lane, Valencia and one at a local public storage facility in the 26000 block of Hollywood Court, Valencia. During the search warrant operations deputies discovered more than $140,000 in cash and two vehicles valued at $180,000.
Suspect Lyadda was booked at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station on suspicion of the felony charges of burglary, conspiracy, and possession of Oxycodone for sale. He is currently being held at a Pitchess Detention Center in lieu of $5 million bail. He is due to appear in San Fernando Superior Court on March 16.
The investigation is continuing and there is no further information available at this time.