SLO County arrests
San Luis Obispo County Sheriff

A 16-month investigation into narcotics trafficking in five counties culminated this week with the arrest of 10 people and the seizure of nearly $1 million worth of narcotics, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department.

Arrest warrants have also been issued for another five people in connection with the methamphetamine and heroin distribution network operating in San Luis Obispo County and apparently trafficking narcotics in Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.

None of those arrested, ranging in age from 19 to 71, or wanted for arrest are from Santa Barbara County. Eleven are from San Luis Obispo County and two from Los Angeles County.

Sheriff’s spokesman Tony Cipolla said the drug seizure included 63 pounds of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $850,000 and 3 pounds of heroin with an estimated street value of $136,000.

The investigation launched in November 2016 by the Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit with the arrest of former ringleader Jaime Vega, 45, of Paso Robles, led to a drug trafficking organization in Mexico that had multiple cells operating throughout the United States, Cipolla said.

Detectives also identified a greater Los Angeles-area location involved in the distribution network locally, he said, and a subsequent Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department task force investigation resulted in the seizure of almost 28 pounds of cocaine with a street value of approximately $500,000 from that address.

Last year, two members of the organization were arrested in San Bernardino County with 13 pounds of methamphetamine.

Arrest warrants have been issued for suspected former ringleader Enrique Garcia, 25, of Cambria, and his girlfriend, Gabriela Bucio, 22, of Cambria, who investigators believe took over the operation after Garcia allegedly fled to Mexico.

Warrants also were issued for Norma Bucio, 20, of Cambria; Kimberley Ann Fisher, 50, of San Luis Obispo; and Eduard Sanchez, 20, of Los Angeles.

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News Editor

Mike Hodgson is news editor at the Santa Ynez Valley News, where he writes about local government, special events and the people who live in the Valley. He has been a photographer, writer, news editor and managing editor at weekly newspapers since 1972

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