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Law enforcement cracks down on gang and border crimes

From April 16 to 18, several law enforcement agencies worked together to arrest 282 individuals involved with drug trafficking, human smuggling, driving while intoxicated and parole and probation violations, including 13 individuals from the Fallbrook area. On April 20, the Fallbrook Sheriff's deputies had a gang sweep of their own, arresting 17 individuals for various felonies, and four individuals for misdemeanors.

Nearly 500 local, state and federal law enforcement personnel carried out the countywide sweep, which was called “Operation Allied Shield” and funded by a Department of Homeland Security grant that allocated $19 million to the county over the past two years as part of a larger program called “Operation Stone Garden.” The sweep started at 5 p.m. Friday and ended at 2 a.m. Sunday.

Taking part in the operation, along with local law enforcement agencies from throughout the county, were the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation; California Highway Patrol; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; U.S. Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the Border Patrol.

“They had been planning this for a while,” said Fallbrook Sheriff's substation commander Phil Brust. “This sweep targeted individuals who were involved in the drug and trafficking cartels at the border.”

According to Brust, the individuals arrested in Fallbrook during Operation Allied Shield were taken in for “a myriad of charges,” and it is believed that they were affiliated with local Hispanic street gangs.

On April 20, 68 law enforcement officials gathered as part of the Fallbrook substation's gang sweep.

“We did our own specified sweep,” said Brust. “We targeted individuals who were gang members or affiliates, as well as those with warrants or parole and probation violations.”

From 5 a.m. to 1 p.m., the deputies identified and targeted “high profile targets,” said Brust.

“We were looking for people we had dealt with in the past,” he said. “After the recent shootings, stabbings and disagreements we have seen between area gangs, we have stepped up our efforts to combat gang crime.”

Brust stated area detectives have managed to “develop better intelligence” on the streets, which has allowed for more gang-related arrests in general.

This particular sweep was such a success, Brust said that they were unable to make all of the gang-related arrests that were planned for the day, and that other arrests will be made, time permitting.

“Under the guidance of Sgt. Joe Montion and Deputy Jeff Holder, we saw extreme success in the sweep,” said Brust. “They put in several hundred hours of planning and intelligence work to gather the resources necessary.”

(previous story)

FALLBROOK - A crackdown on North County gang members and parole violators left 21 people under arrest today, a sheriff's official reported.

Those taken into custody during the early-morning raids in Fallbrook were booked for various suspected narcotics crimes, parole and probation offenses and charges related to outstanding warrants, Lt. Phil Brust said. "This operation primarily targeted gang members and parolees,'' he said.

Seventeen of the arrests involved alleged felonies, and four were related to misdemeanors, such as being under the influence of illegal drugs or resisting law enforcement officers, the lieutenant said.

Taking part in the sweep along with sheriff's deputies were state parole and county probation agents, as well as personnel with the Fugitive Task Force, federal Marshals Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and North County Gang Task Force, Brust said.


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