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Detectives Say Five Arrested In Connection With Ventura County Drug Ring Controlled From Mexico

(Ventura County Sheriff's Office photo)
Some of the drugs and crash seized in a joint Ventura County-DEA drug smuggling operation. Five people were arrested.

Man said to be ringleader still at large

A five-month-long investigation by a Ventura County drug task force led to five arrests in connection with a Mexican drug smuggling ring.

In February, the task force learned that a onetime Ventura County resident had fled to Mexico to avoid going to jail for a 2018 drug conviction. Detectives say they also discovered Raudel Frias coordinating the shipment of drugs from Mexico into the county.

Detectives joined forces with federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents. They determined Frias was operating out of Tijuana. Over the last four months, they arrested five people from throughout Southern California on drug smuggling charges. They seized 50 pounds of methamphetamine, and 248 grams of cocaine.

Detectives say they are still looking for Frias, who they believe is in hiding in Mexico.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.