Top row, L-R – Gerardo Vargas, Enrique Navarette, Osvaldo Medina; Middle row, L-R – Gilberto Vargas, Maria Vargas, Raul Hernandez; Bottom row, L-R – Gilberto Gomez, Alfred Estrada, Jessie Rodriguez
Ventura County- Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Eric Tennessen today made public the details of the September 28th arrests involving no less than nine alleged members of the Mexican Mafia suspected of an ongoing pattern of illicit drug sales throughout Ventura County.
According to Tennessen, a month-long collaborative effort among personnel attached to the VCSD, the DEA, and the Oxnard Police Department indicated that 34-year-old Gerardo Vargas—a known Fillmore area gang member directly associated with the Mexican Mafia—and 44-year-old Ventura resident and gang member Alfred Estrada have been actively “involved in the distribution of methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin for the benefit of the Mexican Mafia.”
They are alleged to have been distributing the drugs among “lower-level dealers” who then plied the contraband wares to consumers throughout the county.
Pursuant to the findings of their investigation, multiple search warrants upon persons and property located in both Ventura and Los Angeles counties were issued and served, yielding the discovery of “four pounds of methamphetamine, over one pound of cocaine, over four ounces of heroin, four firearms, two assault weapons, and two ballistic vests.”
The totality of evidence gathered led to the arrests of nine individuals on assorted charges:
1. Gerardo Vargas of Fillmore, 34: conspiracy, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, sale of a controlled substance, possession for sale of a controlled substance, and participation in a criminal street gang.
2. Osvaldo Medina of Fillmore, 29: Conspiracy and transportation for sale of a controlled substance.
3. Enrique Navarette of Fillmore, 48: Conspiracy, possession for sale of a controlled substance and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.
4. Gilberto Vargas of Fillmore, 50: Possession for sale of a controlled substance.
5. Maria Vargas of Fillmore, 56: Possession for sale of a controlled substance.
6. Raul Hernandez of Fillmore, 49: Conspiracy and transportation for sale of a controlled substance.
7. Alfred Estrada of Ventura, 44: Conspiracy, possession for sale of a controlled substance, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and participation in a street gang.
8. Jessie Rodriguez of Los Angeles, 36: Conspiracy and transportation/sale of a controlled substance.
9. Gilberto Gomez of Fillmore, 56: Conspiracy and transportation/sale of a controlled substance.
Photos: courtesy Ventura County Jail Booking