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5 Arrested, Drugs Seized After Investigation Into Mexico-Based Drug Trafficking Operation Targeting Ventura County

VENTURA (CBSLA) — Five people have been arrested and a large cache of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin have been seized after a 5-month investigation into drug trafficking in Ventura County.

ventura county drug bust 5 arrested
(credit: Ventura County Sheriff's Department)

Gerardo Gonzalez, 29, of Palmdale; Rosario Vega, 49, of Pacoima; Rubi Catalina Sanchez, 38, of Highland; Mauro Romero, 34, of Los Angeles; and Lorenzo Orozco, 35, of Perris were all arrested in the months since the Ventura County Combined Agency Team began working with the DEA in February.

Cases for Gonzalez, Orozco, and Sanchez have been filed with the Ventura County District Attorney's Office, but Vega and Romero face federal charges.

Ventura County sheriff's investigators say they got word in February that Raudel Frias, a former Ventura County resident, was continuing to run a drug trafficking operation in the area even after fleeing to Mexico to avoid serving time following a 2018 drug sales conviction. There is currently a felony warrant for Frias' arrrest.

Investigators say they identified five people working with Frias to deliver narcotics to different cities in Ventura County. One of the biggest busts involved Vega, who was arrested on March 25 in the act of delivering 26 pounds of methamphetamine, according to authorities. Vega was first identified as being part of the trafficking operation when he sold a pound of methamphetamine to VCAT and DEA operatives, sheriff's officials said.

ventura county drug bust
(credit: Ventura County Sheriff's Department)

Another large bust involved Rubi Catalina Sanchez, who was arrested while delivering 10 pounds of methamphetamine to Thousand Oaks on May 28, according to sheriff's officials. Because her minor child was with her at the time, Sanchez also faces a charge of child endangerment.

Romero was arrested on June 3 in Camarillo on suspicion of possessing 8 pounds of methamphetamine during an attempted sale to an undercover agent. Romero was previously identified in another undercover operation selling 2 pounds of methamphetamine to an undercover agent, according to Ventura County sheriff's officials.

After Gonzalez was arrested on March 18 in Arleta and a search warrant was served on his home in Palmdale, a pound of methamphetamine, 1.5 pounds of heroin, and 248 grams were seized.

Orozco was arrested on June 18 near his home in Perris for his part in the sales of 2 pounds of methamphetamine to an undercover agent in April, sheriff's officials said.

Ventura County sheriff's investigators continue to work with the DEA and authorities in Mexico to locate Frias.

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