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'Operation Double Down' leads to 49 arrests today ­– many in Fallbrook

SAN DIEGO – The San Diego County Sheriff's Department reported this afternoon that from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. 49 people were arrested in North County when deputies served arrest and search warrants in Fallbrook, Bonsall, Encinitas, Vista, Oceanside, Rainbow and Lake Elsinore as part of Operation Double Down.

Operation Double Down started in January 2017 as a follow up to Operation El Niño, which concluded in the summer of 2016 in Fallbrook. The goal is to disrupt the operation of drug dealers who fill the void of those arrested in Operation El Niño.

During the nine-month crackdown, deputies with the Fallbrook Sheriff's Substation, Sheriff's Special Investigations Division (SID) and Criminal Intelligence Detail (CID) conducted more than 50 undercover "buy-walk" operations. They bought fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine from the suspects.

A dozen people were identified as part of the drug trafficking operation and were arrested this morning along with other drug dealers. Deputies also recovered stolen weapons, as well as items connected with at least 13 residential burglaries in Fallbrook.

Stolen property included a pickup truck, a truckload of household items, electronics, furniture, tools, toys, shoes, clothing, as well as $15,000 worth of custom carved wooden bowls.

Those arrested today included: Nathan Belleville, 33, of Fallbrook; Enrique Cazares, 44, Fallbrook; Michael Evans, 45, Fallbrook; Sandra Gilbo, 47, Fallbrook; Michael Ochoa, 44, Fallbrook; Shawn Orr, 45, Fallbrook; Eileen Zaragosa Quintana, 49, Fallbrook; Trevor Rogers, 38, Fallbrook; Heath Rothenay, 25, Fallbrook; Joseph Sims, 37, Fallbrook; Michael Tetu, 30, Fallbrook; Adrian Verdugo, 41, Bonsall; Bethany Villarreal, 47, Bonsall; and Crittenton Zayak, 33, Rainbow.

The names of 11 other suspects arrested today are not being released at this time to avoid jeopardizing ongoing investigations. Those arrested face federal and state charges of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, drug sales, possessing stolen property and/or drugs, burglary, resisting arrest and violating parole or probation. Some also had outstanding felony and misdemeanor warrants.

Suspects in this investigation face varied sentences depending on their criminal background including probation to 25 years in prison. Deputies will work to return the stolen items to their owners.

Victims can call the Fallbrook Sheriff's Substation at (760) 451-3100. People are always encouraged to report suspicious activity to the Sheriff's Department at (858) 565-5200.


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