Location: Tulare County Sheriff's Office

Incident Date: 03/11/2021

City: Visalia

Posted by: Media Relations

Today, Sheriff Mike Boudreaux appointed a new Assistant Sheriff, promoted two to Captain and six to Lieutenant during an outdoor formal promotion ceremony. The following personnel were appointed/promoted:
• Assistant Sheriff Chris Wenzinger
• Captain Jose Torres
• Captain Harold Liles
• Lieutenant Nathan Polk
• Lieutenant Larry Camacho
• Lieutenant Michele Price
• Lieutenant Steve Sanchez
• Lieutenant Megan Pinheiro
• Lieutenant Mario Sandoval

Those who were appointed and promoted thanked the Sheriff, the Executive Command Staff and their families and friends for supporting them throughout their law enforcement careers.

Sheriff Boudreaux offers his sincere congratulations to all of them. 

Please join all of us at the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office park in wishing them well in their new assignments.

Assistant Sheriff Chris Wenzinger
Assistant Sheriff Chris Wenzinger began public service in 1984 at the age of 17 when he joined the U.S. Air Force, with parental consent. During his six years of service, he was stationed in Texas, California, Arizona, as well as Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Honduras.

While stateside, his duties were Military Law Enforcement and when overseas he served as a Military Advisor for anti-terrorism and drug interdiction. Notably, Assistant Sheriff Wenzinger was assigned to security details for President Ronald Reagan, Vice President Dan Quayle, Pope John Paul II, Secretary Edwin Meese, among others. 

After receiving an honorable discharge in 1990, Assistant Sheriff Wenzinger was hired as a deputy sheriff in 1991 and worked in all of the existing detentions facilities as a deputy and later as a sergeant. Assistant Sheriff Wenzinger has also worked at all of the Patrol Stations as both a deputy and a sergeant. 

He trained new deputies as both a Field Training Officer and a Jail Training Officer. 

When he became a detective, he was assigned to the Agricultural Crime Investigations Unit, SWAT and part of the Sheriff’s Sergeants Advisory Committee. 

As a Sergeant, he was the K-9 Unit Supervisor and, later, an Internal Affairs Investigator. 

And as a Lieutenant, he oversaw the K-9s, Bombs, Night Watch, Porterville Patrol, served as liaison to the Tule River Indian Reservation, Personnel and Training, Property Crimes, and Compliance.

In 2017, Assistant Sheriff Wenzinger was promoted to the rank of Captain. He served as Division Commander for Detentions, Administrative Services, Administrative Support, Patrol and Investigations. 

He also serves as the department liaison to the Tulare County Sheriff’s Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit.
While employed at the Sheriff’s Office, he completed the Visalia Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program, Leadership through Change, LAPD Leadership Program formerly known as the West Point Leadership Program, and FBI LEEDA Course, the Hazardous Device School Executive Management Course. 

Assistant Sheriff Wenzinger has received letters of appreciation, commendations, and was named Detentions Deputy of the year and Operations Deputy of the Year. 

In his spare time, he raises money for a variety of charities, and volunteers with children at a local community center, an organization that provides meals and personal materials to the homeless. When he was in the military, he repaired and constructed schools and orphanages in Central America and the Middle East. 

He serves as Sergeant at Arms for Post 18 of the American Legion and he’s an active member of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Visalia.

Assistant Sheriff Wenzinger enjoys spending time with family, including Lily, his wife’s loving Chihuahua, and riding his road bike with friends. 

He is married to his wife of 34 years, Carol, whom he credits for his success. They have two adult sons and their families, Roger and Monica and granddaughter, Tessa, and William and Sal.

Captain Jose Torres

Captain Torres was born in Tulare and raised in Terra Bella.

He was hired on with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office in 2000 and began his law enforcement career at the Main Jail and worked there until 2004. 

He transferred to Porterville Substation in 2004 and worked there for four years. During this time, he was named Officer of the Year by the Porterville Exchange Club. 
Next, Captain Torres transferred to STEP as a Detective for two years. He worked in the Homicide Unit until 2013. As a Detective, he was named Investigator of the Year by the California Attorney General’s Office. 

In 2013, he was promoted to Sergeant and transferred back to Patrol for the next three years. From there, he became the Homicide Sergeant from 2016-2017. 

He oversaw Operation Baby Face as a Sergeant, arresting three suspects and 12 co-conspirators for sexually exploiting 23 juveniles and 29 adults. It was the biggest human trafficking case in the history of Tulare County.

In 2017, Captain Torres was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and worked Patrol, Homicide, Human Trafficking, and the Special Victims Unit. He oversaw several human trafficking investigations and also Operation Stray Bullet which targeted violent gang members. 

He and his wife, Leticia, have two children, Vivian and Andrew. 

Captain Harold Liles
Captain Harold Liles began his law enforcement career in 1996 when he successfully worked undercover as a student at Redwood High School in Visalia for the Visalia Police Department. Afterward in 1997, he became a Tulare County Sheriff’s deputy and was assigned to the Pixley Substation as a patrol deputy.

In 1998, he was transferred to the Narcotics Unit as a detective. He was deputized as a Federal Agent and worked several major drug cases and assisted with the dismantling of several large drug organizations. During this time, he received the Knights of Columbus Officer of the Year Award.

In 2005, he was promoted to Sergeant and in 2008, he was very instrumental in creating the newly established South County Gang Unit which is still in place today. His assignments as a Sergeant included the Men’s Correctional Facility, Porterville Patrol, South County Gang, North End Property, Juvenile Sexual Assault, Narcotics Unit and he also served as the Detective Administrative Sergeant.

Captain Liles was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in 2016 and he served as the station commander at the Pixley Substation for two years. From there, he was transferred to Court Services.

He was instrumental in bringing Sheriff Mike Boudreaux’s vision to life when youth sports were added to the PAL Program in 2019. Sheriff Boudreaux created a specialty unit dedicated to youth development and appointed then Lieutenant Liles to lead the unit, the Public Relations and Youth Development Unit. 

Captain Liles was born and raised in North Carolina to the late Harold and Catherine Liles.  He graduated from Anson Senior High School in 1990, where he was a State Champion in Track and Field. He attended Taft College where he majored in Criminal Justice, while he ran track and played football. He obtained his associate’s degree in Criminal Justice from Taft College. 

After that Captain Liles was awarded track scholarships to both East Carolina University and California State University Chico where he ran track and continued his studies in Criminal Justice.  He also attended Union University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice Management. 
As a Sergeant, he graduated from the Sherman Block Leadership Academy and the Tulare County Leadership Academy.  

In December, Captain Liles was recognized for making a difference in the lives of Tulare County youth during the Central Valley virtual summit on Fathering the Fatherless. 

Captain Liles is married to Kerrie Liles and they have five children, Jasmine, Tanisha, Ayana, Darius and Keylan; and grandchildren, Zaria, Josiah, Jayden, Kaisley, Ivy and one on the way.

As Captain, he will oversee Employee & Public Relations, Youth Development and Court Services.

Lt. Nathan Polk
Lt. Nathan Polk grew up in Stratford and attended Lemoore High School. He earned his associate degree at West Hills College. 

In 1999, he graduated from the Tulare-Kings Counties Basic Peace Officer Academy.

Lt. Nathan Polk was hired at the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office in 1999 and began his law enforcement career in detentions at the Bob Wiley Detention Facility and the Adult Pre-Trial Facility. 

From 2002-2008, he was a patrol deputy assigned to the Pixley Substation where he also served as a field training officer and a community-based officer for Tipton. 

He became a detective in 2008 and through 2013, he was assigned to the Agricultural Crime Investigations Unit, South County Property Crimes, Narcotics Investigation and back to Ag Crimes.

In 2013, Lt. Polk was promoted to Sergeant and was assigned to the Pixley Substation where he also served as the Director for the Sheriff’s PAL Program. From 2017-2018, he was the Patrol Administrative Sergeant.

Lt. Polk became the Sergeant for EPRU (Employee & Public Relations Unit) in 2018 and additionally took on the scheduling for all of the Patrol Division. From 2019-2020, the Boating Safety Enforcement Unit and Aviation were added to his charge.

While working in EPRU, Lt. Polk implemented the Sheriff’s Peer Support Program, a new mentor program for all of the Sheriff’s employees. 

Lt. Polk is married to his wife, Shelly, for 26 years and they have three children, Bailey, Daniel and Landon. He said he enjoys BBQs, traveling and camping with his family. 

As lieutenant, he will oversee the Civil Division and Court Services. 

Lt. Larry Camacho
Lt. Larry Camacho was born in Tulare and raised in the community of Earlimart.

He began his law enforcement career in 1995 at the Woodlake Police Department where he worked undercover narcotics investigations, field training and served as the department’s detective for several years before making a lateral transfer to the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office in 2000.

As a patrol deputy, Lt. Camacho primarily worked out of the Pixley and Porterville Substations and also served as a field training officer. 

In 2005, he became a detective and was assigned to the North-End Property Crimes Unit and, in 2007, transferred to the Homicide Investigations Unit. 

Lt. Camacho was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2010, serving the next seven years as a patrol sergeant.
In 2017, Lt. Camacho was reassigned to the General Investigations where he has spent several years working with his team of detectives in solving complex criminal investigations. 

Additionally, he supervised the Domestic Violence High Risk Team (DVHRT), Elder Abuse Unit and served as the Department liaison working with the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office for the California Victims Compensation Board. 

Lt. Camacho lives in Visalia and is married to his wife, Suhhey. They have two children, Miranda and Lucas. He said he enjoys fishing, sports, traveling and working on classic cars. 

As Lieutenant, he will oversee the day to day operations on patrol while assigned to Porterville Substation.

Lt. Michele Price
Lt. Michele Price was hired by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office in 1998 and was assigned to detentions, including the Bob Wiley Detention Facility, RSAT and Road Camp.

Three years later, she transferred to Operations and started working patrol at the Orosi Substation. 

Next, she was selected to be a K-9 handler with her partner, Anja. Together, they moved to several different substations for four years. During that time, she was selected to be a Field Training Officer.

Lt. Price became a detective with the Gang Unit and was sent to SWAT school in May 2011.

Next, she transferred to the Narcotics Unit and was assigned another K-9 partner, Issac, for four years. From there, she transferred to the County Apprehension Team Tracking Criminals in Hiding Unit (CATTCH) before getting promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2015.

As a Sergeant, Lt. Price was assigned to the Porterville Substation, Headquarters Patrol and she supervised the K-9 Unit. 

In February of 2020, she transferred to the Training Unit where she supervised four corporals, five deputies and four civilians. She made sure all Sheriff’s employees were up to date on their training, range, active shooter drills and 20 other classes offered at the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.

Lt. Price has two children, Connor Lopez, who is a California Correctional Officer, and Shelby Lopez, who currently serves as a Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, stationed in Germany. 

Lt. Steve Sanchez
Lt. Steve Sanchez grew up in the Dinuba/Reedley area and graduated from Reedley High School in 2000. He attended Reedley College and obtained his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from California Coast University in 2018.

He attended the Fresno City Police Academy and was hired at the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office in 2004. His first assignment was at the Main Jail. 

In 2006, Lt. Sanchez was reassigned to Headquarters Patrol and two years later, he became a detective in the Gang Violence Suppression Unit. His next move, in 2012, was to the Homicide Unit. 

He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2015. As a Sergeant, Lt. Sanchez worked at Headquarters Patrol, the Street Crimes Unit, Gangs, Narcotics, the County Apprehension Team Tracking Criminals in Hiding (CATTCH), and the Homicide Unit.

For Lt. Sanchez’s proactive work and arrests involving Gangs and Homicide, he has received a total of six letters of commendation. In 2015, he received the Tulare County Deputy Sheriff’s Association Award for Investigations Officer of the Year. And in 2016, he was named Officer of the Year by the Knights of Columbus.

In 2017, he received the Valley Heroes Award for his off-duty actions during the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip. 

Lt. Sanchez has completed numerous Institute of Criminal Investigation trainings and holds a certificate with a specialty in Homicide. He was also a SWAT Operator and SWAT team leader. Currently, Lt. Sanchez is in the process of completing the Sherman Block Leadership Institute.

In court, he has testified as a gang expert more than 100 times. He authored the Cutler-Orosi Gang Injunction for Nortenos and Surenos in 2010 and, in 2015, he co-authored the Earlimart Gang Injunction for the Nortenos.

Also in 2015, Lt. Sanchez was the lead case agent for Operation Red Sol, a wiretap investigation into the Norteno criminal street gang which resulted in the arrest of 100 gang members; seizure of 34 firearms; 31 pounds of methamphetamine; five pounds of heroin; $65,000 in asset forfeitures; and five stolen vehicles. Seven homicides were also solved and charged as a result of this investigation.

In 2019 and 2020, he wrote the affidavits and was the Supervisor for several wiretaps into the Norteno Criminal Street Gang and their involvement in a Cutler homicide and numerous drug and weapon investigations.

Lt. Sanchez is married to his wife, Celeste Sanchez, who is a Sergeant at the Visalia Police Department. They have three children, Adon, Nathan, and Roman. He enjoys traveling and scuba diving.

As a lieutenant, he will be assigned to Headquarters Patrol. 

Lt. Megan Pinheiro
Lt. Megan Pinheiro grew up in Ivanhoe and graduated from Golden West High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Criminology from Fresno State. 

She began her law enforcement career in 2006 when she was hired at the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office as a Correctional Deputy at the Bob Wiley Detention Facility. There, she also served on the Detentions Gang Unit.

Lt. Pinheiro promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2012 and was assigned to the Adult Pre-Trial Facility. During this time, she helped the APTF transition from a housing facility to a full booking facility. She has also worked at the Day Reporting Center, Men’s Correctional Facility, Internal Affairs and on the South County Detention Facility construction project.

While assigned to the new jail construction project, Lt. Pinheiro was also tasked with implementing the scheduling of the entire detentions division and covering the Porterville Courthouse.

Lt. Pinheiro helped open up the South County Detention Facility in 2019 and became the Administrative Sergeant there. 

Most recently, she was assigned to cover the Personnel Unit where she oversaw recruitments, background investigations and new employee orientations. Additionally, she spent a year as the Pro-Per liaison and served as the Detentions K-9 Sergeant for two years.

As part of her leadership training, she attended the Women Leaders in Law Enforcement Conference as well as Women in Command.

Lt. Pinheiro is supported by her husband, Joe, and two sons, Jakob and Myles. She enjoys hiking, spending time outdoors and camping with her family. Lt. Pinheiro also likes to run and in May, she will compete in her fourth half marathon race. 

Lt. Mario Sandoval
Lt. Mario Sandoval was born in Fresno and raised in the Reedley area.

He began his law enforcement career in 1994 with The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, working as a Correctional Deputy assigned to the Bob Wiley Detention Facility and the Main Jail.

 In 1998, he attended the Tulare-Kings Counties Basic Peace Officer Academy. After graduation, he was assigned to the Bob Wiley Detention Facility until February of 2000 when he was reassigned to the Orosi Substation.  

Lt. Sandoval worked at the Orosi Substation as a Patrol Deputy and Field Training Officer for three years. 

In 2003, he was promoted to General Investigations as a Detective for two years.

Lt. Sandoval was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2005 and his assignments included the Bob Wiley Detention Facility, Adult Pre-Trail Facility and Main Jail. 

In 2007, Lt. Sandoval was transferred to the Patrol Division and assigned to the Orosi Substation. His assignments included Field Training Sergeant, K-9 Sergeant, and Patrol Sergeant. He was a Patrol Sergeant for nine years.

As a Sergeant, Lt. Sandoval was transferred to South-end General Investigations in 2016; Tulare Area Gang & Narcotics Enforcement Team (TAGNET) and SWAT in 2017; and, most recently, Weekend General Investigations. 

Lt. Sandoval lives in Reedley and is married to his wife, Lillian. They have two children, Melissa and Nicholas. Nicholas followed in his father’s footsteps and is a Detective with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.  Lt. Sandoval said he enjoys babysitting his grandson, Zayn, fishing, camping, working out, and spending time at the coast. 

As Lieutenant, he will oversee the day-to-day operations on patrol while assigned to Night Watch. He will also supervise the Sheriff’s K-9 Unit.