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Ventura County Sheriff's Office
Friday May 5th, 2023 :: 06:31 p.m. PDT


Narcotics Arrests Related to Fatal Overdoses

Nature of Incident:  Narcotics Arrests Related to Fatal Overdoses
Report Number: 22-124720 / 22-144989
Location: Cities of Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley
Date & Time: April 25, 2023 / 1750 Hours

City of Residence

Jose Gomez Perez
Javier Bernal Cruz
Edgar Cruz Martinez
Elver Gonzalez Garcia
On April 25, 2023, the Ventura County Fentanyl Overdose and Crimes Units (VC FOCUS) concluded a lengthy investigation into a narcotics delivery service based out of the San Fernando Valley that was responsible for two local fatal overdoses.
On September 16, 2022, Thousand Oaks Patrol deputies responded to the 300 block of Via Las Brisas reference a subject who had suffered a fentanyl overdose at the location. Despite lifesaving efforts by the first deputies on scene and fire medical services, the victim was transported from the scene but later died.
On October 29, 2022, Thousand Oaks Patrol deputies responded to the 1600 block of Feather Court reference a subject who was also suffering from a fentanyl overdose. Fire and medical personnel could not revive the victim and they were pronounced deceased at the scene.
 An investigation was conducted by VC FOCUS, and detectives determined that the drugs supplied in both overdoses had been sold to the victims by a narcotics delivery service. These services are directly managed by drug cartel members stationed in Mexico who facilitate the mass delivery of narcotics to subjects all throughout southern California using “delivery drivers” living within the state. These services are well organized and extremely difficult to investigate, and the profits from the narcotics sold by these delivery services are then funneled back to the drug cartels operating in Mexico. 
Over the course of the investigation, VC FOCUS detectives utilized various law enforcement methods and surveillance to identify multiple drivers who lived in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. These drivers often made several trips a day to Ventura County and conducted numerous drug transactions on each trip.
VC FOCUS made a determined effort to arrest these drivers and seize their narcotics and profits. Numerous operations were conducted over the following months in the cities of Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley which resulted in the arrests of the following subjects for 11351 HS- Possession for Sales of a Controlled Substance: Jose Perez Gomez, Javier Bernal Cruz, Edgar Cruz Martinez, and Elver Gonzalez Garcia. All of the subjects were booked into the Ventura County Jail at the time of their arrests and are currently out of custody pending additional investigation and charges.
These operations also produced the seizure of 7.5 ounces of heroin, ½ ounces of powdered fentanyl, 2 ounces of methamphetamine, 638 counterfeit pills containing fentanyl and 3 grams of cocaine. In addition, $1851 in US currency derived from these sales was also seized.
The Ventura County Fentanyl Crimes and Overdose Units (VC FOCUS) is a task force made up of all Ventura County local law enforcement departments along with state and Federal law enforcement agencies. The primary mission of this task force is to combat fentanyl related crimes and opioid overdoses by targeting the supply chain of individuals and criminal organizations responsible for the sales of these drugs into Ventura County. In addition, the task force works to identify new trends of abuse among the younger population and educate the community at large on the lethal danger of this epidemic.
VC FOCUS has partnered with Ventura County Behavioral Health as an active member of the County Opioid Abuse Suppression Taskforce (COAST) in a campaign to reduce overdoses and educate the public about the dangers of opioids and other drugs. Comprehensive information can be found at
The public may contact investigators from VC FOCUS at (805) 383-8700 or [email protected] with additional information about this case, or any other information related to narcotics.
Prepared by: Sergeant John Hajducko
News Release Date: May 5, 2023
Media Follow-Up Contact: Sergeant John Hajducko
Approved by:
Booking Photo Release:
Captain Victor Medina
YES     NO  
Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime.  The caller may remain anonymous.  The call is not recorded.  Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

Ventura County Sheriff's Office
800 S Victoria Ave
Ventura, CA 93003

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 805-654-9511

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