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The Region

$250,000 in Drug Seized; 8 Arrested

A Ventura County task force found 7 pounds of crystal meth. The suspects are from Oxnard, the Valley and Inglewood.

October 07, 2003|Sandra Murillo | Times Staff Writer

A Ventura County narcotics task force Monday announced the seizure of an estimated $250,000 worth of crystal methamphetamine and the arrests of eight suspected members of a drug ring, authorities said.

The investigation that led to the seizure of about 7 pounds of the drug known as ice began 14 months ago in Ventura and ended last week with the arrests of the suspects in Oxnard, the San Fernando Valley and at a home lab in Inglewood, authorities said.

"This is probably the biggest bust of ice we've had," said Sgt. Bob Camarillo of the Ventura County Combined Agencies Task Force. "Ice is just a new problem for us and this is an extremely large amount."

Arrested were Anthony Garcia, 43, of Ventura; Benito Luna Alcazar, 27, Valentina Alcazar, 44, and Martin Melendez, 31, all of Oxnard; Hortencia Chavez Magana, 30, of Reseda; Jaime Limon, 33, of North Hills; and Zeferino Gutierrez Ruvalcaba, 27, and Laura Martinez Aguayo, 19, both of Inglewood. All will be charged with possession and conspiracy to distribute, officials said. They will be tried in Ventura County.

Detectives from the Ventura and Oxnard police departments, Ventura County Sheriff's Department, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Customs and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Explosives are all participants in the county task force, which handled the investigation.

Chemical products, lab equipment, handguns and about $30,000 were recovered in the investigation. Specialists estimated that the lab was capable of manufacturing about 10 pounds of crystal methamphetamine a week.

Camarillo said authorities expect more arrests soon.

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