Man indicted in decades-long harassment campaign
VENTURA — A Port Hueneme man was named in a federal grand jury indictment Tuesday charging him with making threats to rape and kill a UCSB student who is the daughter of a woman he allegedly began stalking and harassing in 1991.
Serge Agopian, 49, was named in the three-count indictment that charges him with sending threatening communications in an email and letters sent through the mail. All charges stem from three identical communications he allegedly sent anonymously to the student in April, according to the Department of Justice.
The victim is the daughter of a woman Mr. Agopian began harassing when they attended UCSB, according to a criminal complaint previously filed in the case.
Through an investigation by the FBI, the victim’s mother said Mr. Agopian apparently saw her at a party in 1991, contacted her “out of the blue” even though they had never met and began sending “unsolicited roses, cassette tapes with recorded love songs, poetry, letters, and condoms to her residence,” according to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint.
“The victim’s mother told investigators that she asked Agopian to stop all communications, but she believed he continued to send packages anonymously after she moved to her parents’ residence – including roses with dog feces and an item that resembled a bomb,” authorities said in a news release.
The victim’s mother obtained a restraining order against Mr. Agopian that was in effect for nearly 10 years. Despite this, he allegedly continued to connect her, including in the fall of 1991 at the UCSB bookstore, where he pushed her into a shelf of books and was arrested, according to the affidavit.
Mr. Agopian later filed a defamation lawsuit against the victim’s mother. In the years after the lawsuit was revolved, the victim’s mother and her family received “very vulgar, lewd, and obscene letters,” which she believes came from Mr. Agopian, according to the affidavit.
The criminal complaint notes that one of the letters sent to the victim in April had a fingerprint that matched fingerprints obtained from Mr. Agopian during the restraining order proceedings, authorities said.
Mr. Agopian is charged with one count of threats by interstate communications and two counts of mailing threatening communications. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.
He was arrested Aug. 5 on a criminal complaint that alleged one count of making threats by interstate communication. He is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.
— Mitchell White
One arrested in shooting
SANTA BARBARA — A Santa Barbara man was arrested in connection with a Wednesday morning shooting, police said.
At approximately 6 a.m. Wednesday, a shooting victim suffering from serious injuries arrived at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment. Evidence collected during the investigation was associated with occupants at the Sunset Motel in the 3500 block of State Street, said Anthony Wagner, spokesman for the Santa Barbara Police Department.
Police responded to the motel shortly after 6 a.m. and evacuated several rooms. The department’s SWAT team served a search warrant at a room of interest. A search of the crime scene and other locations revealed two firearms, ammunition, and 11 ounces of suspected crystal methamphetamine.
Elias Robles, 28, was arrested on a parole warrant, as well as on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammo, illegal possession of a loaded firearm and possession of a sawed-off shotgun. An investigation is ongoing.
— Mitchell White
Road closures planned for pole replacement
Several road closures are planned over the next week to replace Southern California Edison power poles.
From 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, portions of Toro Canyon Road will be closed for a pole replacement at 925 Toro Canyon Road, officials said.
From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, portions of Miramar Avenue will be closed for a replacement project at 190 Miramar Ave. Portions of Camino Manadero will be closed from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday for a replacement project at 1117 Camino Manadero. In addition, portions of Alston Road will be closed from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to replace existing power poles in the 1000 and 1100 blocks, officials said.
From 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, portions of Danielson Road will be closed for a pole replacement at 1339 Danielson Road.
— Mitchell White