3 Arrested, Drugs Seized in Raid on Ventura County Lab


State agents have arrested three men in a remote canyon near Camarillo on charges of operating what investigators called the largest methamphetamine lab in Ventura County history.

Department of Justice agents who conducted the early morning raid Monday reported seizing 90 pounds of the nearly finished compound and numerous chemicals used in the manufacturing process.

An elaborate underground generator supplied electricity to the operation, investigators said.

"This is tremendous for us," said Michael Digby, an agent with the Los Angeles Clandestine Lab Task Force, which conducted the weeklong investigation.

Digby said the street value of the drugs would be up to $4 million.

The laboratory was hidden in the Santa Rosa Valley on property owned by lemon and avocado farmer William Worthington. Two of his employees were arrested Monday, but officials said neither they nor Worthington will be charged.

Worthington said he had did not know about the lab.

Task force supervisor Gerald Walker said the drugs were "in the final cooking stage" when the task force arrived.

Arrested on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine were Arturo Sanchez Zamora, 19, of Long Beach; Carlos Castro Martinez, 18, of Long Beach and Geronimo Laya Calixtro, 32, a transient.

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