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THOUSAND OAKS : Police Arrest Pair in Alleged Drug Swap

Posing as large-scale marijuana suppliers looking for a new supply of cocaine, Ventura County sheriff’s detectives arrested a Las Vegas man and a Simi Valley man for allegedly swapping a kilogram of cocaine for 10 pounds of marijuana.

Tuesday night’s arrests of James Mark Hopkins, 35, of Las Vegas and David Scott Hall, 33, culminated a two-month investigation into large-scale drug sales in Ventura and Los Angeles counties, said Sgt. Gary Pentis.

Pentis said two undercover narcotics detectives met Hopkins and Hall in the parking lot of a Denny’s restaurant in Thousand Oaks just before midnight.

Posing as marijuana dealers from Humboldt County who wanted to trade their product for cocaine, the two undercover detectives brought 10 pounds of marijuana as a sample to show to the men, Pentis said.

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When Hopkins accepted the marijuana and gave detectives the cocaine, other deputies moved in and arrested him and Hall, Pentis said. The two are expected to be charged with conspiracy, possessing cocaine and marijuana for sale and selling cocaine, Pentis said.

With search warrant in hand, detectives searched Hall’s house in the 5000 block of Cochran Street in Simi Valley. There, they seized three ounces of cocaine, handguns, a shotgun, a scale and drug packaging material, police said. They also arrested Hall’s wife, Karen Joyce Hall, 32, on suspicion of possessing cocaine for sale.

Deputies also seized $15,000 in cash--$6,500 in hundreds from Hopkins’ pocket and the rest from Hall’s pockets and his home, Pentis said.

All three suspects were booked into the Ventura County Jail in Ventura.

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Hopkins was released Wednesday after posting $20,000 bond. David Hall was being held in lieu of $250,000 bail and Karen Hall was held in lieu of $20,000 bail, jail officials said.


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