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Ventura County Sheriff's Office
Friday September 20th, 2019 :: 03:27 p.m. PDT

Community

Gang and Narcotics Arrests

Nature of Incident: Gang and Narcotics Arrests

Report Number: 18-151791

Location: City of Oxnard and City of Ventura

Date & Time: August 14, 2019  12:00 PM

Unit(s) Responsible: Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Ventura County Violent Gang Task Force, Oxnard Police Department, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Ventura County Sheriff’s Office. 

(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent, City of Residence, Age

Gabriel Cardenas, Oxnard, 45
Anthony Lemos, Oxnard, 36
Gabrielle Plascencia, Oxnard, 40
Joshua Clark, Oxnard, 37
Rebecca Gonzales, Oxnard, 36
Antonio Lopez, Riverside, 33
Daniel Esquivel, Oxnard, 26
Max Castro, Oxnard, 39 

Narrative:
Over the past several months, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Ventura County Violent Gang Task Force has led a multi-agency investigation into a drug trafficking organization being run by incarcerated prison gang members.  The organization utilized local violent street gang members to import narcotics from Mexico and distribute them throughout Ventura County.  As a result of the investigation, eight suspects were arrested for narcotics, weapons and gang related offenses.
 
In September 2018, the Ventura County Sheriff's Office Jail Classification Unit developed intelligence on a narcotic trafficking organization being run by influential gang members incarcerated in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and Local Gang members who were currently living in Mexico.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Ventura County Violent Gang Task Force, Oxnard Police Department, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office started a joint investigation and identified Oxnard Gang Member Gabriel Cardenas as the conduit between incarcerated prison gang members and local gang members residing in Mexico.   The organization used local gang members to import narcotics from Mexico into Ventura county where it was distributed. 
 
Most of the organization was being run by influential gang members incarcerated in CDCR. The inmates used smuggled cell phones to conduct their illicit business which included facilitating narcotics trafficking, ordering assaults on subjects who refused to pay drug debts and facilitating illegal firearms transactions.    
 
During the investigation, detectives served over 25 search warrants at various locations throughout   Ventura and Riverside Counties and seized nearly 7,480 grams of methamphetamine, 2,347 grams of heroin, 5 handguns, 2 rifles and over $29,000 in U.S. currency and assets.
 
The following arrests were made during the investigation:
 
Gabriel Cardenas - Conspiracy, possession for sale of a controlled substance and participation in a criminal street gang
Anthony Lemos - Conspiracy, possession for sale of a controlled substance and participation in a criminal street gang
Gabrielle Plascencia - Conspiracy, possession for sale of a controlled substance and participation in a criminal street gang
Joshua Clark – Conspiracy, possession for sale of a controlled substance, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and participation in a criminal street gang
Rebecca Gonzales – Conspiracy, possession for sale of a controlled substance, and participation in a criminal street gang
Antonio Lopez - Conspiracy, possession for sale of a controlled substance, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and participation in a criminal street gang
Daniel Esquivel - Conspiracy, possession for sale of a controlled substance, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and participation in a criminal street gang
Max Castro - Conspiracy, possession for sale of a controlled substance.
 
The FBI Violent Gang Task Force is comprised of sworn members from the FBI, Oxnard Police Department and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office,.  Investigators expect to make more arrests. 

Prepared by: Detective Gerardo Cruz  

News Release Date: 09/13/2019  

Media Follow-Up Contact: Detective Gerardo Cruz, 805-383-8721
gerardo.cruz@ventura.org
 
Approved by:  Captain Bill Schierman
Booking Photo Release:  YES
 
Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime.  The caller may remain anonymous.  The call is not recorded.  Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).
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Address/Location
Ventura County Sheriff's Office
800 S Victoria Ave
Ventura, CA 93009

Contact
Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 805-654-9511

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