Receive alerts from your local agencies
...or text your ZIP CODE to 888777 for mobile alerts

Full Notification

Ventura County Sheriff's Office
Tuesday August 4th, 2020 :: 08:47 a.m. PDT


Ventura County Based Drug Trafficking Organization Dismantled

Nature of Incident: Ventura County Based Drug Trafficking Organization Dismantled
Report Number: 20-97304, 20-94174, 20-94687, 20-47481, 20-103554, 20-103759,     20-100961
Location: 5000 Block Tyner Lane, Bakersfield
5000 Block San Juan Avenue, Oxnard
1400 Block Flora Lane, Oxnard
1400 Block Cottage Place, Porterville
60 Block of East Ramona Street, Ventura
6000 Block of Partridge Street, Ventura
300 Block of Dartmouth Road, Santa Paula
400 Block of Sycamore Street, Santa Paula
Date & Time: March- July 2020
Unit(s) Responsible: Ventura County Combined Agency Team, Ventura County Sheriff’s Office,  Sheriff’s Gang Unit, Oxnard Police Department, United States Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Customs and Border Protections Agency, California Highway Patrol
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent

City of Residence

Francisco Aparicio
Saul Ramirez
Scott Bowen
Tatianna Knox-Hickok
Kevin Montanez
Victor Leon
Joseph Leon
Santiago Chavez
Rosa Benitez
Gerardo Reyes
Rogelio Vasquez
Yuvel Garcia
Ricardo Juarez
Stephanie Licon
Veronica Reyes
David Hernandez
Eric Escamilla
Santa Paula
Santa Paula
Santa Paula
The Ventura County Combined Agency Team (VCAT), Drug Enforcement Administration, Ventura Sheriff’s Gang Unit, Oxnard Police Department, United States Customs and Border Protection Agency, and the California Highway Patrol completed a four-month long investigation of a Ventura County based methamphetamine trafficking organization.  The investigation culminated with the seizure of 192 pounds of methamphetamine, 5 pounds of heroin, 500 fentanyl pills, $208,000.00 in United States currency, one firearm.  Seventeen people were arrested for felony crimes and were involved in the importation and distribution of drugs. This joint state/federal investigation targeted those who are engaged in mid to top-level drug trafficking impacting the residents and businesses of the County of Ventura.
During the month of March 2020, detectives assigned to the Ventura Combined Agency Team and the Sheriff’s Gang Unit began an investigation of a local group of Ventura County residents who were responsible for importing and trafficking multiple pounds of methamphetamine from Mexico to Ventura County.  VCAT investigators identified Francisco Aparicio and Saul Ramirez as the two main coordinators of this Drug Trafficking Organization.   Aparicio currently resides in the City of Bakersfield, but recently lived in the City of Oxnard.  Ramirez currently resides in the City of Oxnard.
The Ventura County Superior Court approved an investigation which revealed that Aparicio and Ramirez spoke directly with Mexico based sources coordinating shipments of multiple pounds of methamphetamine for delivery into the United States.  In addition, this criminal organization would typically employ other people as “runners” to smuggle and transport the drugs from the U.S./Mexico border to Ventura County.  Upon arrival, the drugs would then be distributed to local dealers for street level distribution.
Investigators devoted hundreds of hours to surveillance, writing and serving search warrants, and conducting interviews which resulted in successfully identifying stash houses, couriers, transportation routes and co-conspirators within this criminal drug trafficking organization. 
Notable arrests and seizures included the arrest of Scott Bowen and Tatianna Knox-Hickok transporting  103.4 pounds of methamphetamine, 2 kilograms of heroin, and 500 Fentanyl pills across the Otay Mesa Port of Entry; arrest of Santiago Chavez and Rosa Benitez transporting 15 pounds of methamphetamine in the City of Ventura; arrest of Saul Ramirez and Kevin Montanez transporting 8.8 pounds of methamphetamine in the City of Thousand Oaks and in possession of $50,566.00; arrest of Victor Leon transporting 12 pounds of methamphetamine in the City of Camarillo; arrest of Joseph Leon transporting 4.6 pounds of methamphetamine and $10,233.00; arrest of Yuvel Garcia transporting $101,125.00 in United States currency and in possession of 37 pounds of methamphetamine in the City of Porterville.
The street value of the methamphetamine seized in this case is approximately $672,000.00, the street value of the heroin is approximately $60,000 and street value of the Fentanyl seized in this case is approximately $15,000.00.
This case has been submitted to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office for criminal filling.
Prepared by: Sergeant Robert Davidson  
News Release Date: August 3, 2020  
Media Follow-Up Contact: Detective Christian Freede 805-797-6333
Detective Jose Torres 805 765-0627
Detective Robert DeLaCerda 805 797-6342
Approved by:
Booking Photo Release:
Captain Brian Slominski
YES     NO  
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).

Ventura County Sheriff's Office
800 S Victoria Ave
Ventura, CA 93003

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

Navigate & Discover