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Detectives Honored for Role in Bust

By Amanda Covarrubias, Times Staff Writer

Two Simi Valley police detectives have received a national award for their work with federal agents on a two-year investigation that led to the bust of one of the largest drug rings that made and sold an animal tranquilizer popular on the rave scene.

Richard Lamb and Kevin Duncan were among several law enforcement agents honored this month at a Washington ceremony for their role in the cross-border investigation that netted massive amounts of the drug Ketamine, also known on the streets as Special K, vitamin K and Kit Kat.

The two detectives, who have a combined 31 years with the Simi Valley Police Department, received the award for investigative excellence from the Drug Enforcement Administration. They also received a special commendation last week from the Simi Valley City Council.

Their involvement in the case, which took them to several states and Mexico in pursuit of the ringleaders, began more than two years ago on a tip that someone was selling steroids and Ketamine from a Simi Valley gym, Lamb said.

"Things just branched off from there," said Duncan, 44, the senior investigator in the narcotics unit.

When the detectives realized the scope of the ring -- which involved the manufacturing of the pills in Mexico and their distribution throughout the United States -- federal agents and San Diego investigators also got involved.

"You can't work these kinds of cases by yourself," said Lamb, 40.

But Lamb and Duncan remained involved, traveling to Ohio, Florida and Mexico to chase leads they received from a local dealer who became an informant. They were on the scene in October for a cross-border raid in San Diego that netted $2 million in cash and assets and more than 600,000 vials of the drug.

"There are those moments of excitement," Duncan said. "But certainly a lot of it was not exciting. Every case has its ups and downs. A lot of the time you're looking at reports and recording what you've done in the past."

The irony that two officers working in one of the nation's safest cities received a national crime-fighting award is not lost on the detectives.

"We may be one of the safest cities in the country, but that doesn't mean we don't have the same problems as those in big cities," said Duncan, noting Simi Valley's proximity to Los Angeles.

Both men, who are married and have children, said that in addition to having two of the best jobs in the 120-officer Simi Valley Police Department, they feel they are helping fight one of society's most relentless scourges -- illegal drug use.

"I'm not going to stop it," Duncan said. "But I'd just like to not have to worry so much about my children being involved in it , or their children, for that matter."

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these dumb fucks have to realize that the demand is to great to combat a war on drugs....americans have $$$....and want drugs for recreation....all of their efforts are just a waste of time...its just going to move from 1 cartel to the next....

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