Seven Arrested in Camarillo for Alleged Drug Trafficking
LOS ANGELES – On March 16, 2022, members of the Ventura County Combined Agency Team (VCAT) and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Los Angeles Field Division concluded a multiple month-long investigation of a major narcotic trafficking organization with the arrest of seven suspects and the seizure of a large amount of narcotics.
Special Agents from the DEA and investigators assigned to the VCAT conducted an investigation into Homero Diaz, 24, of Bakersfield. The investigation revealed that Diaz was responsible for trafficking methamphetamine and fraudulent prescription pills into Ventura County. The fraudulent prescription pills contain the deadly drug fentanyl and are pressed to look like prescription oxycodone pills.
On March 16, 2022, agents from the Ventura Resident Office of the DEA, narcotic investigators assigned to VCAT and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Narcotic Street Team, and deputies assigned to the City of Camarillo Patrol Services, arrested Homero Diaz and six of his co-conspirators on federal charges of possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance. The arrests were made in Camarillo, where Diaz was coordinating a delivery of fentanyl and methamphetamine.
The other suspects arrested were Manuel Martinez, 24, of Ventura; Apolinar Mena, 30 of Compton; Francisco Placencia, 28, of Compton; Antonio DeJesus Santana, 31, of Riverside; Jesus Varela, 28, of Torrance; and Jaime Gomez Lopez, 27, of Compton. In conjunction with the arrests, federal and state officials seized approximately 50,000 fentanyl pills and 45 pounds of methamphetamine from the three cars the suspects had arrived in. This amount of methamphetamine and fentanyl has an approximate street value of $230,000.
All seven suspects were booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles for Federal Drug Trafficking Violations. They made their initial appearance on March 17, 2022.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
VCAT is comprised of detectives from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office and a Special Agent from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. VCAT is responsible for the investigation and arrest of persons and organizations who are engaged in mid to top-level drug trafficking impacting the residents and businesses of the County of Ventura.
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Los Angeles Field Division is the 2nd largest division in DEA and responsible for the seven largest counties in Southern California—Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, as well as the states of Nevada (Las Vegas/Reno), and Hawaii (Oahu/Maui), and the U. S. Territories of Guam and Saipan.