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Fire Captain Placed on Leave After Arrest

A Ventura County fire captain charged with selling drugs and possessing explosives has been placed on unpaid administrative until his case is resolved in court, county Fire Chief James Sewell announced Monday.

Capt. William Elliot Handy, 48, of Newbury Park has been accused of selling a half-ounce of methamphetamine to a police informant. Sheriff’s deputies arrested him Dec. 21 at a Newbury Park grocery store. They subsequently seized weapons and a bomb at his Newbury Park home.

Sewell said Monday that the Ventura County Fire Protection District will do an independent internal investigation in addition to the Sheriff’s Department inquiry.

“Although this case needs to be adjudicated through proper channels, the fire district does not tolerate or condone such activity by its members,” Sewell said. He said fire district officials take “a proactive role in dealing with issues as they are brought to their attention.”

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Until his arrest, Handy, a 22-year veteran, worked at the county’s Piru fire station.

Handy is being held at the Ventura County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail. A grand jury on Thursday indicted Handy on six counts of felony drug sales and weapons possession.


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