Operation Black Ice yeilds arrests
By JULIE ZEEB -DN Staff Writer
Updated: 05/08/2009 07:43:59 AM PDT

Click photo to enlargeA Sheriffs Deputy leads a suspect away from a home on the 400 block of Jackson... ( DN - Zeeb )«1»The Tehama Interagency Drug Enforcement Task Force brought a 10-month investigation to conclusion Thursday with the arrest of dozens of people across Tehama County.

TIDE served seven search warrants, four probation searches and a total of 37 arrest warrants Thursday in about 30-35 different locations in Red Bluff, Corning, Los Molinos, Gerber, Proberta and Richfield, said TIDE Acting Special Agent Supervisor Eric Maher.

Several children were detained, but the exact number was not known Thursday, he said. One Corning man detained on drug charges also had a immigration hold placed on him.

"We were obviously trying to net as many drug dealers as we could," Maher said. "An opportunity presented itself and we ran with it."

Operation Black Ice started in August 2008 when a Tehama County citizen offered to assist authorities. From a small opportunity grew a bigger one, Maher said.

Officers escorted at least one man in handcuffs to a patrol car about 9:30 a.m. at a Jackson Street residence in Red Bluff as a part of TIDE's operation.

There were four California Highway Patrol vehicles, a sheriff's car and about half a dozen officers on scene at the residence on the 400 block of Jackson with a small crowd of onlookers hovering nearby.

During the operation, TIDE was able to purchase narcotics 83 times from 36 different suspects.

The majority of the purchases were methamphetamine, but TIDE was able to buy heroin, marijuana and prescription drugs, a release said.

"We know we did see some heroin today and we know it's coming from the Bay Area, but for the most part it's local drugs," Maher said.

With the help of about 100 local, state and federal officers, including CHP, Tehama County Sheriff's Department and Corning Police Department, search and arrest warrants were served to the suspects.

Other local agencies involved were the Tehama County District Attorney's Office, Tehama County Probation Department and Tehama County Child Protective Services.

More information is expected to be released today.


Staff Writer Julie Zeeb can be reached at 527-2153, extension 115, or at jzeeb@redbluffdailynews.com