News Story


Countywide - Dozens Indicted in Massive Gang Conspiracy
11/28/2012 2:17:00 PM


Nature of Incident:

Dozens Indicted in Massive Gang Conspiracy


Throughout Ventura County


April 2012 to November 2012

Unit Responsible:

Ventura County Sheriff's Office, Ventura County District Attorney's Office




The Ventura County Grand Jury has handed down indictments on 27 people accused of conspiring to commit assault likely to cause serious bodily injury, extortion, home invasion robberies, commercial pharmaceutical robberies, narcotics trafficking, and other organized criminal activity.


All of the suspects are documented members of several local gangs in Ventura County. The unusual aspect of this case was that they were working in conjunction with and for the benefit of a highly organized prison gang hierarchy controlled by the Mexican Mafia or 'La Eme.'


All of the criminal activity was organized and coordinated by one high ranking member of the Mexican Mafia from a prison outside California.


The investigation revealed the Mexican Mafia has used its intimidation and narco-trafficking powers to direct extortion and fear to control the criminal activities of Ventura County gangs.


'This case has dealt a crushing blow to organized crime in Ventura County,' said Assistant Sheriff Gary Pentis. 'We have incapacitated the organization from the top through its geographic managers.'


While gang activity in Ventura County is not unusual, the cooperation among various rival gangs was unprecedented in this case.


During the past seven months, investigators utilized a variety of resources to uncover the activities of the group and actually interrupted several violent crimes before they were carried out. Detectives seized dozens of firearms and a variety of narcotics.


The complexity of the investigation required tremendous cooperation between local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, including the Ventura County Sheriff's Office, Ventura County District Attorney's Office, Oxnard Police Department, Ventura County Probation Agency, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives.


The defendants indicted in this case are:


Martin Madrigal

Mar. 11, 1973

David Acosta

Apr. 28, 1975

Ismael Arreola

July 7, 1980

Jose Arreola

June 11, 1977

Guadalupe Barrales

Dec. 12, 1972

Jose Barrales

Sept. 18, 1993

Brian Beppu

June 20, 1977

Lina Fuentes

June 3, 1978

Michael Lopez

July 18, 1976

Angel Mata

Aug. 1, 1978

Alana Mora

Aug. 28, 1981

Edwin Mora

Apr. 2, 1984

Jose Mendoza

Mar. 10, 1989

Ruben Mora

Aug. 9, 1983

Librado Navarette

Nov. 15, 1986

Cesar Navarette

Feb. 13, 1988

Javier Tamayo

May 1, 1978

Ollivia Tamayo

Aug. 24, 1975

Juan Rosas

Mar. 17, 1986

Alfred Perez

Sept. 8, 1984

Sabrina Zuniga

Oct. 29, 1981

Robert De La Cerda

Aug. 6, 1978

Miguel Gallardo

May 28, 1976

Rodolfo Magdaleno

July 7, 1978

Rafael Palazuelos

Aug. 26, 1981

Male Juvenile


Male Juvenile



Photographs of the indicted defendants are available upon request.


Deputy Preparing Media Release:

Sgt. Eric Buschow

Media Release Date:

Nov. 27, 2012

Follow-Up Contact:

Capt. Don Aguilar (805)797-7349

Sgt. Eric Buschow (805)947-8129

Approved by:

Sheriff Geoff Dean