SLO County Sheriff announces breakup of drug ring

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson announced a large drug bust — valued at about $1.5 million — as well as the breakup of a methamphetamine and heroin ring in San Luis Obispo County. Parkinson said the drug ring originated in Mexico and had multiple cells operating throughout the United States, particularly in Southern California.

Though most of the action in the case did not occur recently, Parkinson, who is currently running for reelection, held a press conference Thursday in which he revealed large quantities of seized methamphetamine and heroin. As part of the case, investigators seized slightly less than $1 million worth of methamphetamine and heroin, as well as $500,000 worth of cocaine.

Thus far, authorities have caught nine suspects, while another five remain on the loose. While most of the suspects are listed as San Luis Obispo County residents, only one is currently in SLO County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office website.

Parkinson said the investigation began in Nov. 2016 with the arrest of Jaime Vega, 45, of Paso Robles, who was thought to be the ringleader of the operation. CEnrique Garcia, 25, of Cambria, was then believed to have taken over leadership of the drug distribution ring.

In April 2017, authorities stopped two members of the organization, Jesus Corona Farias and Adrian Contreras Aguilar, in San Bernardino County with 13 pounds of methamphetamine.

Investigators believe that, around the time of the San Bernardino bust, Garcia fled to Mexico, and Garcia’s girlfriend, 22-year-old Gabriela Bucio of Cambria, assumed leadership of the drug network.

Ultimately, authorities seized 63 pounds of methamphetamine with an estimated value of $850,000 and three pounds of heroin with an estimated value of $136,000. The approximately $500,000, or nearly 28 pounds, of cocaine was confiscated following an investigation by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department task force.

Other agencies involved in the case include the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, California Highway Patrol, Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, Glendale Police Department and SLO County District Attorney’s Office and probation department.


The nine suspects who have already been caught are:

Jaime Vega, 45, Paso Robles

Daniel Clark Vanbenthuysen, 40, Atascadero

Denise Lopez, 19, Los Angeles

Adrian Contreras Aguilar, 20, Paso Robles

Jesus Corona Farias, 28, Cambria

Peter Paul Mascorro, 50, Morro Bay

Thomas Gibson, 71, San Miguel

Michael James McGardwell, 64, Atascadero

William Martin, 53, San Miguel


The five suspects with outstanding warrants are:

Enrique Garcia, 25, Cambria

Eduard Sanchez, 20, Los Angeles

Gabriela Bucio, 22, Cambria

Kimberly Ann Fisher, 50, San Luis Obispo

Norma Bucio, 20, Cambria

Please, be respectful of others. Attack ideas, not users. Personal insults, shill or troll accusations, hate speech, and other uncivil comments will be removed. The comments posted represent the opinion of the writer and do not represent the views or policies of the website.

2 Comments about “SLO County Sheriff announces breakup of drug ring”

  1. ArroyoGrande2000 says:

    So if Sheriff Parkinson was able to sell these drugs he would only be left owing the taxpayers a little over 3.5 million from his failed management and resulting lawsuit over the Holland case. He then could go after those he sold the drugs too and continue the cycle until he paid the taxpayers back all the money he owes from the case. That of course doesn’t count the other millions he costs the taxpayers from other cases and his continual failed management and those millions yet he will cost us taxpayers.

    1. perk o late says:

      Taxpayers deserve a refund on the drug chasing boat we bought as well. What has that thing done, other than burn fuel and $$$?

Comments are closed.