Photo: gang of 7 cache
March 21, 2022 – Ventura County, Ca.
The Ventura County Combined Agency Team (VCAT) and the Los Angeles Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Agency have been putting in long hours over the past month, but their collaborative efforts have produced some significant results with the arrests of seven suspected drug traffickers.
According to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Det. Christian Freede, the VCAT and DEA teams targeted a “major narcotic trafficking organization” suspected of distributing methamphetamine and “fraudulent prescription pills” laced with fentanyl throughout Ventura County.
The initial indications were that 33-year-old Bakersfield resident Homero Diaz was the individual responsible for organizing the illicit work of 23-year-old Ventura resident Manuel Martinez, 29-year-old Compton resident Apolinar Mena, 27-year-old Comptom habitué Francisco Placencia, 30-year-old Riverside resident Antonio Santana, 27-year-old Torrance resident Jesus Varela, and 28-year-old Compton resident Jaime Lopez.
With the assistance of VCSD Camarillo Patrol Services, the VCAT and DEA teams, following a month-long surveillance of Diaz’s activities, made contact with him on the afternoon of March 16 th as he and his confederates made the mistake of assembling as a group in the conduct of their criminal enterprise while in possession of methamphetamine and fentanyl with “an approximate street value of $230,000.
All seven were promptly handcuffed and transported to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles for booking on multiple possession and narcotics trafficking felony violations.
Photo: Courtesy Ventura County Combined Agency Team