65 Arrested In Drug Bust
A law enforcement sweep stemming from a year-long undercover drug operation culminated with the arrests of 65 people on Tuesday and the seizure of various types of drugs, officials confirmed.
Approximately 150 law enforcement officials from the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and other agencies took part in the takedown as part of “Operation Mountain Shadow” in Ramona and Poway.
Officials served 12 search warrants from 6 a.m. to noon, and arrested suspects on drug charges, including conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.
The operation and sweep netted a whole lot of evidence as well.
According to officials, evidence seized during Operation Mountain Shadow includes 14 pounds of heroin, 56 pounds of cocaine, 93 pounds of methamphetamine, 30 grams of marijuana and 5 pounds of prescription pills.
In all, the drugs have an estimated street value of $2.1 million. In addition, 76 firearms and 1 live grenade were seized by investigators, as well as $230,000 in cash.
Officials say Operation Mountain Shadow was launched in October 2012 in response to numerous citizen complaints.
During the crackdown, undercover deputies and agents conducted “buy-walk” operations, in which they bought meth, heroin, cocaine and firearms from suspects.
The suspects arrested in this operation face federal drug charges and possibly state charges. They face varied sentences depending on their criminal background, ranging from probation to 25 years in prison, officials said.
Those in federal custody include: Paulino Aguirre, 68; Johnny Castillo, 42; Christopher Maldonado, 38; John Caudle, 40; Oscar Rodriguez-Torres, 41; Miguel Rodriguez-Torres, 41; Todd Young, 47; Jose Tyoran, 40; and Israel Ornelas, 40.
The defendants hail from Ramona, Vista, Poway and Spring Valley. Most have been charged with distribution of methamphetamine and conspiracy, while some also face a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm.
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