Gang of Eight Drug Traffickers Busted

Gang of Eight Drug Traffickers Busted
Photo: Image of weapons, drugs and cash collected during arrest| Ventura County Sheriff’s Office

Early on the morning of December 21st , members of the Ventura County Sheriff’s narcotics Unit, the national Guard Counter Drug Task Force, the Thousand Oaks Police Special Enforcement Unit, and the Moorpark Police Detective Bureau scattered throughout Ventura and Los Angeles Counties to serve search warrants as far afield as Bakersfield, Panorama City, and the North Hills community of the San Fernando Valley.

The targets of their interest, according to VCSD spokesman Sgt. Dan Ashmore: “a transnational drug trafficking organization operating a narcotics delivery service” throughout Los Angeles and Ventura counties. The fruit of their searches: the arrests of eight men, the eldest of which is Bakersfield resident Joel De La Pas Cruz Ayala, 40. 28-year-old Bakersfield resident Elmer Gustavo Ayala-Ayala was also arrested, along with Panorama City residents Luis Antonio Cruiz, 33, Noel Ovidio Cruz Alfaro, 31, Kevin Bonilla, 20, Lisandro Moreno, 22, and North Hills residents Wilfredo Mauricio Bnavides Castillo, 24, and 40-year-old Jose Samuel Ayala Hernandez.

The arrests followed a six-month-long investigation that started when Ventura County Sheriff’s Narcotics Street Team Detectives “learned of a narcotics delivery service” operating within their jurisdiction. The investigation revealed that Joel Cruz Ayala and Elmer Ayala-Ayala worked as the organization’s dispatcher, with Luis Cruz operating as the dispatch house manager who was in direct contact with “high-ranking members of the organization” in the nation of El Salvador. Castillo, Moreno, Bonilla, Hernandez, and Noel Cruz were operating as drivers who would transport cocaine to “hundreds of people daily” throughout Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

During the executions of the search warrants, five pounds of cocaine, five firearms and “a significant amount” of cash were seized. All eight suspects remain in custody on a no-bail hold.

Gang of Eight Drug Traffickers Busted was last modified: January 9th, 2024 by admin
Categories: Ventura

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