District Attorney Erik Nasarenko announced today that on November 16, 2023, Shiloh Chenoweth (DOB 02/12/84), of Ventura, was convicted by a jury of two felony counts: possession of fentanyl for sale, and possession of methamphetamine for sale.
The defendant admitted the special allegations that he had a prior “serious” felony conviction, which also qualified as a prior “strike” offense under California’s Three Strikes laws.
On May 24, 2022, an officer with the Ventura Police Department found Chenoweth, a known parolee, to be in possession of fentanyl and methamphetamine. The drugs were located inside of a box in his backpack. The officer also discovered a digital scale, used for measuring controlled substances, as well as drug paraphernalia inside the box. Further investigation revealed text messages on Chenoweth’s phone showing sales activity. Chenoweth admitting to making sales, though he then claimed he was “giving” fentanyl away, not selling it.
The Dangerous Drug Advisement will be given to Chenoweth on his sentencing date. The advisement states that if he continues to sell, provide, distribute, and furnish fentanyl or any of its analogs, whether alone or mixed with other substances, and someone dies as a result, he can be charged with second-degree murder.
Deputy District Attorney Erin Weilbacher, a member of the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office General Trial Unit, prosecuted the case.
“Ventura Police Officers respond to multiple fentanyl overdoses every week, often multiple overdoses a day,” said Weilbacher. “Anyone selling fentanyl is directly endangering the members of our community. I am proud to have held the defendant in this case accountable for his actions and grateful to the members of the jury who did the same.”
Fentanyl is a highly addictive and often deadly synthetic drug. It is estimated to be 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Fentanyl is one of the most common drugs associated with overdose deaths in the United States.
In 2022, the Ventura County Medical Examiner reported 278 overdose deaths. Fentanyl was found in the system of 181 of the overdose victims. The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office will seek to aggressively prosecute those that sell, furnish, or distribute fentanyl.
The public is urged to learn more about the dangers of fentanyl, how to find resources for people struggling with addiction, and where to get overdose rescue kits. This information can be found at fentanylventuracounty.org.
Chenoweth is scheduled to be sentenced on January 18, 2024, at 8:30 a.m. in courtroom 45 of the Ventura County Superior Court. He remains in custody with bail set at $100,000.
Shiloh Chenoweth (DOB 02/12/84)
HS 11351 – Possession for sale of a controlled substance
HS 11378 – Possession of methamphetamine with the intent to sell it
PC 667S2 – Prior strike
PC 1170(h)(3) – Prior serious felony