Photos: (Cover) Stock Image, (In Story) Burrito Express
Written By: Robert McCullough
August 22, 2022 – Ventura County, Ca. – The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Special Crimes Unit has had a busy year, as evidenced by the August 19th arrest of five members of the same family. Authorities believe the suspects have been engaged in sex, labor, and drug trafficking enterprises throughout the communities of Oxnard and Port Hueneme at least since March of 2021.
That was when, according to VCSD spokesman Sgt. Jeremy Bramlette, the Special Crimes Unit and the local area office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation “received information” indicating that no less than four “massage parlors and skin care businesses” employed foreign nationals “of underprivileged backgrounds” as sex workers. Once law enforcement investigators got things rolling, they discovered that all four suspected massage parlors were owned by the same people who owned Oxnard’s “Burrito Express” restaurant which had been used “to launder the proceeds from the illicit sex businesses.”
On August 19th, 2022, VCSD deputies, working in concert with the Oxnard Police Department, the United States Attorney’s Office, and FBI agents, served no less than eight search warrants on business locations at Oxnard’s Magic Therapy, Mission Spa, Souly Foot Massage, Sunshine Therapy, Burrito Express, and at the homes of Ira, Justin, and Erika Malarowitz, and Alma and Melesio Monarrez-Diaz.
That search led to the identification of “numerous trafficked females” as well as “large sums of cash, methamphetamine, fentanyl, cocaine, marijuana” and two unregistered firearms. All five suspects were transported to Ventura County Jail where they remain in custody, charged with human trafficking, narcotics, and weapons violations.