Multi-million dollar narcotics distribution network shut down
–After an investigation that began in November 2016, members of the Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit have shut down a major methamphetamine and heroin distribution network that was operating in San Luis Obispo County, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department.
Almost a million dollars in narcotics was seized including 63 pounds of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $850,000 and three pounds of heroin with an estimated street value of $136,000.
In addition, during the investigation, our unit identified a location in the greater Los Angeles area that was involved in the distribution network locally. A task force of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department later conducted an investigation that led to the seizure of almost 28 pounds of cocaine with a street value of approximately $500,000 from that address.
Members of the Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit began their investigation with the arrest in November of 2016 of Jaime Vega who was thought to be the ringleader of the organization in this county. Intelligence in that case led investigators to a drug trafficking organization in Mexico which had multiple cells operating throughout the U.S.
Once Vega was arrested, investigators believe Enrique Garcia took over the leadership of the organization. In April of 2017, two members of the organization, Jesus Corona Farias and Adrian Contreras Aguilar were stopped and arrested in San Bernardino County with 13 pounds of methamphetamine. At that time, investigators believe Garcia fled to Mexico. Garcia’s girlfriend Gabriela Bucio is believed to have taken over control of the organization. Warrants for both Garcia and Bucio have been issued.
As a result of this investigation, 14 people have charges of narcotics distribution filed against them. Five, including Garcia and Bucio, have warrants for their arrest.
- Enrique Garcia, 25, Cambria
- Jaime Vega, 45, Paso Robles
- Daniel Clark Vanbenthuysen, 40, Atascadero
- Eduard Sanchez, 20, Los Angeles
- Denise Lopez, 19, Los Angeles
- Adrian Contreras Aguilar, 20, Paso Robles
- Gabriela Bucio, 22, Cambria
- Jesus Corona Farias, 28, Cambria
- Peter Paul Mascorro, 50, Morro Bay
- Kimberley Ann Fisher, 50, San Luis Obispo
- Thomas Gibson, 71, San Miguel
- Michael James McCardwell, 64, Atascadero
- William Martin, 53, San Miguel
- Norma Bucio, 20, Cambria
The Sheriff’s Office was assisted in the investigation by members of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), District Attorney’s Office, Probation Department, CHP, Homeland Security Investigations, LA Impact, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office, Ventura County Sheriff’s Office and the Glendale Police Department.