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Fourth gang sweep has positive results

When law enforcement officers from various agencies converged on Fallbrook Saturday, January 10, from noon to 10 p.m. for the fourth gang sweep conducted here in nine months, it led to 50 field interrogations, 19 probation searches, six parole searches, 20 citations, eight arrests, 20 citations issued and six vehicle tows.

“It was so successful that by 3 p.m. that day everyone was off the street,” said Sgt. Ron McCracken of the Fallbrook Sheriff’s Substation.

The sweeps, funded by the Edward Byrne Memorial Grant, are conducted by a multi-agency task force that includes deputies from the Sheriff’s Department, officers from various neighboring cities, federal agents, probation and parole officers, immigration officers and more.

The Byrne grant, administered by the US Department of Justice, provides money for the purpose of reducing violent crime and gang violence in North San Diego County.

McCracken said the fourth sweep was powered by close to 60 officers and was met with positive public approval, as were the first three.

“We’re getting very positive feedback from the streets,” said McCracken. “Every time the task force shows up, crime goes down.”

McCracken is pleased at the effect the sweeps are having.

“The amount of gang members on the street is negligible at this point,” he said. “Currently, there are a lot of people in jail and a lot of people who have seen so much [law enforcement] activity they are not taking chances here.”

Of the eight arrests made that day, two were for individuals who were drunk in public and the others were for parole violation, cultivation of and intent to sell marijuana plants, possession of drugs, a misdemeanor warrant and an immigration hold.

The bounty of officers in town made 150 assists possible on other law enforcement matters.

Of the cumulative positive results that have come from the sweeps, McCracken said, “Things are cleaning up. That’s happening all over North County where [the sweeps] are being done.”

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