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Ventura County News Roundup

THOUSAND OAKS : Deputies Arrest 14 in Marijuana Case

April 14, 1992|PSYCHE PASCUAL

Ventura County sheriff's deputies have arrested 14 people and seized 103 pounds of marijuana, officials said Monday.

The arrests concluded a monthlong investigation by narcotics detectives into a marijuana-trafficking ring involving people from three counties in California and from Hawaii, Sheriff's Sgt. Gary Pentis said.

Pentis said it was the largest marijuana seizure ever made by the narcotics squad in eastern Ventura County. More arrests are pending, he said.

On Monday, officers at the East County Sheriff's Station displayed one-pound bags of the marijuana. They also displayed other items confiscated in the case, including $25,000 in cash, a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol and an AK-47 rifle.

Pentis said 10 of the arrests came Friday when detectives stopped four cars on Parkway Calabasas in Los Angeles County on their way from Santa Ana to a drop-off point in Thousand Oaks.

The marijuana was hidden in a car driven by Donael Flores, 24, of Anaheim, officials said.

Authorities believe that the ring was led by three men who were arrested Friday: Gordon Legault, 45, of King City; George Bernardasci, 50, of Hawaii, and Richard Hurley, 25, of Prunedale.

Hurley is believed to be an alias for David Drew, a fugitive wanted by Santa Clara County authorities on suspicion of selling cocaine, Pentis said. Hurley is being held on $756,296 bail.

Also arrested were Medgen Aldrich, 30, of Monterey; Bartley Wilkins, 27, of Salinas; Richardo Aldana, 38, of Garden Grove; Daniel Rojas, 24, of Santa Ana; Jorge Aldana, 45, of Mexico, and Gordon Legault Jr., 19, of King City.

Four other people were arrested Friday at two homes in Topanga Canyon and Agoura. Lydia Ralston, 37, and Randall Ralston, 40, of Agoura were released after posting bail. Eric Thibodo, 23, of Topanga was being held on $10,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Friday. Andrew Haff, 23, of Topanga was released on his own recognizance.

The rest remained in jail on $250,000 bail pending their arraignment today at 1:30 p.m. in Ventura County Superior Court, Sgt. Dee Bryce said.

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