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    ‘Cocaine delivery service’ busted in Ventura County, 8 arrested

    The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department said it first learned about the drug ring in July 2023, which they said serviced the eastern part of the two counties. Deputies said they’d discovered Joel Cruz Ayala and Elmer Ayala-Ayala, both from Bakersfield, were “dispatchers” in the organization — people who give the drugs to the drivers for delivery. 

    Through a months-long investigation, deputies also identified Luis Cruz as the alleged head of the dispatch house, and Wilfredo Castillo, Lisandro Moreno, Kevin Bonilla, Jose Ayala Hernandez and Noel Cruz as the organization’s alleged drivers. Detectives then tracked Castillo, Moreno, and Hernandez, and watched them deliver drugs to multiple customers throughout Ventura County.

    Castillo, Moreno, Bonilla, Hernandez, and Noel Cruz were arrested in LA. Deputies said they were each found with a “large amount” of pre-packaged cocaine, as well as suspected drug money. Joel Cruz, Elmer Ayala-Ayala and Luis Cruz were arrested at their residences and the dispatch house in Bakersfield. Detectives said they found evidence at the dispatch house linking them to higher-ranking members of the organization in El Salvador, including money transfers.


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