15 arrested in SLO County drug ring with ties to Mexican cartels

December 5, 2013
Bryan Simpson

Bryan Simpson

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Special Operations Unit arrested 15 members of a suspected drug trafficking ring with ties to Mexican cartels during a bust Wednesday morning.

The bust spanned three counties and concluded a five-month investigation into a heroin and methamphetamine trafficking ring with direct ties to cartels, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office.

Special Operations Unit members, in conjunction with officers from several local and federal agencies, served 13 warrants around 6 a.m. Wednesday. The officers made simultaneous arrests in San Luis Obispo, Monterey and Riverside Counties.

The arrests netted 2.25 pounds of heroin and one ounce of methamphetamine with a street value of more than $100,000. The officers also seized black tar heroin and heroin in pill form, as well as guns, money and a stolen ATV and trailer.

The 15 suspects range in age from 22 to 47. They are Adrian De Martino Morales, 24, of San Luis Obispo, Melissa Ann Clare, 35, of San Luis Obispo, Bryan Scott Simpson, 29, of San Luis Obispo, Aldo De Martino Morales, 22, of Atascadero, Jose Jaime Figueroa, 29, of Oceano, Colin Matthew Kennedy, 28, of Pismo Beach, Ismael Quintero, 24, of Pismo Beach, Daniel Quintero Figueroa, 23, of Pismo Beach, Ryan Oray Krebs, 37, of Arroyo Grande, Marco Antonio Villanueva, 47, of King City, Eric Perez, 36, of Perris, Roman Paolo Perez, 26, of Moreno Valley, Armando Romero Gonzalez, 23, of Riverside and Esmeralda Ramos, 25, of Riverside

Charges include transportation and sale of narcotics, conspiracy to transport and sell heroin and methamphetamine and money laundering.




Heroin is a big and growing problem in our county. Way to many young kids getting hooked on this stuff. These dealers will go out of their way to keep these kids buying and the kids turn to petty theft to support their habit. Its very destructive and life threatening. Good work getting these evil bastards off the streets and out of our neighborhoods. Rat these guys out if you know of any others you just might save a life.


I don’t know that the local heroin problem is truly “big” yet but it is growing and most of the rest of your comment rings true.

However, I would like to object to the use of the phrase “Rat these guys out” as it has an implication that it is somewhat dishonorable to do so. We need to stop accepting “gangsta” phasing as proper — even when the “gangstas” starting it were from the middle of the last century. Let’s oppose the verbal support for thinking that group loyalty is inherently good when the group involved is doing bad things. This applies whether the group involved is drug thugs, uniformed thugs or government thugs (Free Edward Snowden!)


Ryan Oray Krebs……..Following in his brothers footsteps! I can only hope that drugs are the only thing he is responsible for unlike his bro….who should have never been released in the first place.


If you are referring to Rex Krebs there are no family ties there what so ever. Unfortunate sharing of a last name.


The 800 pound gorilla question: Out of the 15, how many are illegal immigrants?


I’ll bet heavy odds that at least 1 was not. (“Krebs” — does that name ring any bells with those who have been in the county for more than 10 years?) Beyond that, I would bet that the percentage of “illegals” is not much higher in this group than in the general population.

If you add “offspring of illegals” to the calculation, the percentage may be higher. I have noticed that illegal immigrants tend to be as law-abiding and hard-working as the average American citizen. However, their children are less likely to be so. I could speculate on why that is but it would be only speculation.


If you are referring to Rex Krebs there are no family ties


ZERO of them were illegal immigrants.


Perhaps some brilliant person will figure out a way to take the profit-motive out of drugs.


Easy. Not without controversy, of course. But if this stuff was legal, *POOF*. The huge profits would be gone.



Jorge Estrada

There probably were some real bad dudes corralled but why discuss the dollar amount? This $ amount is peanuts compared to the Government Cartel thieving our private rights. That dollar amount is so high that one needs to hire a lawyer to establish. And to add insult to injury, that dollar amount doesn’t even cover the stigma damages levied against our will to own private property.


Wow, so impressive. It took the FBI and DEA to capture a dirty cop who stole drugs, extorted junkies and sold drugs right under the noises of the Sheriffs Dept. and SLO PD. Then there were the two contraband importing cops which again outside agents discovered. What wasn’t discussed is that the DEA coordinated this effort between all agencies and led it.


A five-month investigation nets an ounce of meth and a couple pounds of smack? So…an operation that likely cost millions and resulted in the arrest of people whose combined incarceration costs will run close to a million dollars a year (not to mention court costs, public defenders, etc.) took $100,000 worth of drugs off the streets?

Folks, the drug war continues to be a rousing success.

PS – I know the implications are larger; there were guns, stolen items,etc., and most of these dudes are likely pretty bad guys with ties to cartels, etc etc blah blah blah. But seriously, that’s a pretty lame haul for five months of work across multiple counties. Not much actual trafficking going on in this trafficking ring.


@datacloud When they say a five-moth investigation, they are not talking a bunch of agents actively working the case 8 hr/ 5 days. That is when the investigation started. Even the lead investigator probably worked a multitude of investigations during that time.

They took more than $100,000 worth of drugs off the street. They also took 15 people that, I for one, would not want living next door to me off the street. It was well worth it, even if they got no drugs, as long as they could prove these ner’do wells were dealing drugs.

The war on drugs starts at home. Obviously, we, as a society are not doing a very good job raising our kids.


Is there any doubt that we need to seal the border against drug cartels? Does anyone want the drug cartels to operate and expand in our county? It’s the Sinaloa Drug Cartel (El Chapo) that has made Chicago a home base; at least California is fighting back: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-sinaloa-imperial-20131205,0,3102072.story#axzz2mcvW7Wqs

Thanks to Sheriff Parkinson for a job well done.


Just exactly how are you going to “seal the border against drug cartels?” Land mines ala North Korea?


Really? How about electing an administration that enforces our immigration laws instead of rewarding the offenders of those same laws.


We haven’t had an administration that has supported immigration laws in 40 years. The Republicans won’t support immigration laws because it would diminish their supply of cheap ag and manufacturing labor and the Democrats won’t support them……well, because they’re Democrats.


Burton and App must be grieving over the arrest of their drug gang buddies.


One of the most foolish comments ever made here. If you have evidence of this then go to the Feds, otherwise , otherwise would get me banned.