The Ventura County Combined Agency Team, also known as VCAT, has concluded a five month investigation of a Drug Trafficking organization based in Mexico with the arrest of five people, and the seizure of approximately 50 pounds of methamphetamine, 248 grams of cocaine, and 1.5 pounds of heroin.
During the month of February 2021, VCAT investigators received information about a former Ventura County resident who fled to Mexico to avoid incarceration for a 2018 conviction in a case involving the sales of narcotics. VCAT learned that this person was named Raudel Frias and that he was coordinating the trafficking of narcotics across the United States / Mexico border and into Ventura County. Frias currently has an active felony warrant for his arrest for violating California Health and Safety Code section 11379(a) / Sales and transportation of controlled substances.
VCAT investigators along with the Special Agents with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration began a joint investigation. During the investigation, VCAT determined that Frias was located in Tijuana Mexico and coordinated all of his narcotic business from that location. VCAT also determined additional unidentified persons residing in Tijuana and Nayarit Mexico, were working in conjunction with Frias. VCAT and the DEA identified five members of this drug
trafficking organization who resided in the California cities of Palmdale, Pacoima, Highland, Los Angeles, and Perris. All five of these individuals participated in the deliveries of narcotics to several different cities in Ventura County.
On March 18, 2021, VCAT investigators arrested Gerardo Reyes Gonzalez in the city of Arleta and served a search warrant at his residence in the city of Palmdale. As a result of the investigation, VCAT investigators seized one pound of methamphetamine, 1.5 pounds of heroin, and 248 grams of cocaine.
On March 25, 2021, VCAT and DEA arrested Rosario Vega in the city of Camarillo while he was in the act of delivering 26 pounds of methamphetamine. Rosario Vega was first identified during an undercover operation in which he furnished one pound of methamphetamine to VCAT and DEA operatives.
On May 28, 2021, VCAT arrested Rubi Catalina Sanchez in the city of Thousand Oaks while she was also in the act of delivering 10 pounds of methamphetamine. Sanchez was accompanied by her minor child therefore was also arrested for child endangerment.
On June 3, 2021, VCAT and DEA arrested Mauro Romero in the city of Camarillo in possession of 8 pounds of methamphetamine. Mauro was arrested in the act of supplying the narcotics to an undercover agent. Mauro was previously identified during a separate undercover operation in which he supplied 2 pounds of methamphetamine to an undercover agent.
On June 18, 2021, VCAT arrested Lorenzo Orozco near his residence in the city of Perris California for his participation in the sales of 2 pounds of methamphetamine to an undercover agent in the month of April 2021.
All five individuals were arrested and initially booked into Ventura County Jail. Gerardo Reyes Gonzalez’, Lorenzo Orozco’s, and Rubi Catalina Sanchez’ cases were all filed with the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office. Rosario Vega and Mauro Romero are facing federal prosecution under the United States Attorney’s Office. VCAT is currently working with the DEA and the Mexico authorities attempting to locate Frias who fled to Mexico.