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Dozens of Arrests Dismantle Gang Drug Network Connections

The majority of drug dealers arrested are documented gang members

by: jim kouri | published: 09 12, 2008

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The Drug Enforcement Administration, San Diego Field Division Mobil Enforcement Team (MET), in cooperation with the San Diego County District Attorney and San Diego Police Department, announced the culmination of two undercover narcotics operations targeting gang members in Southeast San Diego that have resulted in drug-related charges being filed against 82 defendants.

“The Drug Enforcement Administration Mobile Enforcement Team’s mission is to assist state and local authorities in their quest to combat gangs and violent crime,” said DEA Special Agent-In-Charge Ralph W. Partridge.

“Because of the cooperative efforts with our law enforcement partners, a multi-kilogram crack cocaine distribution organization operated by gang members and their associates has been essentially dismantled from its leadership cell down to its street level drug dealers,” said Partridge.

“Operation Bloodsucker” was launched in March of this year as a response to community concern over increased gang crime. “Operation Lucky Strike” followed two months later, in May of 2008. Both operations focused on mid- and high-level drug dealers of cocaine and their sources.

“Operation Bloodsucker” disrupted drug-trafficking by gangs in the southeastern area of San Diego by scoring a direct hit on the biggest dealer there, a father and son drug operation. “Operation Bloodsucker” resulted in nine search warrants and 34 arrests.

In the aftermath, law enforcement identified “up and comers” who sought to fill the void. A second takedown during “Operation Lucky Strike” occurred on Sept. 4, when 15 search warrants were issued and an additional 28 arrest warrants executed.

As part of the operation, law enforcement seized $318,000 in cash, three pounds of crack cocaine, a half pound of crystal methamphetamine, seven kilograms of powder cocaine, more than 300 ecstasy pills, more than 467 pounds of marijuana, 30 vials of PCP and 11 guns. Authorities also removed five drug-endangered children from their parents.

“The majority of drug dealers arrested during these operations are documented gang members and their associates who have violent criminal histories,” said San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis. “By taking these career criminals off the streets with drug charges, we’re hoping other types of gang crime in these neighborhoods will also decrease.”

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