OXNARD (CBSLA.com) — Half a dozen gang members were arrested Wednesday as the result of a federal investigation into a Mexican drug trafficking ring.

The men arrested Wednesday morning by a joint task force, including federal agents and officers from the Oxnard and Ventura police departments, were the so-called shot callers of Ventura County and Oxnard’s gangs, according to the FBI.

“These are the persons that actually authorize the assaults, the beatings, the stabbings,” Oxnard’s assistant police chief, Jason Benites, said.

Wednesday’s arrests are part of the third phase of Operation SuperNova, a year-long investigation into Mexican Mafia-directed street gangs in Ventura County. Since the operation began, large quantities of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin have been seized, along with 46 firearms, and 30 suspects have been arrested.

A total of 17 defendants have been charged in the case and eight were in custody on unrelated charges prior to the early morning raid Wednesday. Three more suspects remain at large, including one who is believed to be living in Mexico.

The defendants named in the federal complaint face charges of conspiring to distribute methamphetamine. If convicted, they face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.


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