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Thread: So.Cal. Dozens charged in alleged North County gang gun and drug networks

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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    So.Cal. Dozens charged in alleged North County gang gun and drug networks

    Dozens charged in alleged North County gang gun and drug networks

    Kristina Davis
    Contact Reporter


    A longtime investigation into gang networks trafficking heroin, methamphetamine and guns throughout North County culminated Wednesday in indictments against 37 people — from street dealers to mid-level managers to cross-border smugglers, authorities said.

    The illicit business occurred everywhere from shopping center parking lots to outside a methadone clinic to homes across the street from schools, said authorities.


    Early Wednesday morning, more than 100 law enforcement officers from several agencies made arrests throughout North County. As of noon, 27 people were in federal or state custody, some having been arrested earlier in the week, with several others remaining fugitives.


    Many of the defendants are documented members or associates of gangs across North County — Oceanside, Vista, San Marcos, Carlsbad, Encinitas and Escondido — with ties to the powerful Mexican Mafia prison gang, prosecutors said.


    Investigators deployed wiretaps and vehicle trackers, conducted extensive surveillance and made several undercover buys to gather evidence in the cases. Throughout the investigation, they seized heroin, fentanyl, meth, and several guns, authorities said.

    “We have a special resolve to go after gangs that have the audacity to operate on the boundaries of our schools, where children play and learn,” said Interim U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman. The schools included Mission Elementary, Jefferson Middle, Clair W. Burgener Academy, San Marcos High and Joli Ann Leichtag Elementary.


    The North County Gang Task Force began investigating in September 2016 after two gang-related killings in Oceanside.

    One was a botched robbery and another was done by members of a rival Oceanside gang, according to an FBI search warrant affidavit.


    The killings were followed by a retaliation shooting, which wounded a bystander.


    The violence prompted task force members to use a confidential source to infiltrate one of the gangs and share information with authorities.

    The investigation led to Carlsbad gang member Robert “Sleepy” Gonzalez, identified as the operator of a robust heroin distribution network in Oceanside, according to authorities.


    Phone wiretaps showed he sold drugs every single day of the roughly three months he was being listened to — five to 10 customers a day, up to 12 grams of heroin a day, according to court records.


    He and his customers would refer to heroin as “negra,” “taco,” or “media,” and the cost as “BBQ money” or “feria” — Spanish slang for money, according to the affidavit.


    Drug sales, as well as handoffs between associates, happened in parking lots throughout Oceanside, including Walmart, Harbor Freight, Mission Donuts, Burger King and El Super.

    Deals also went down in front of a methadone clinic, Mission Treatment Service, a place where heroin users seek relief from addiction.


    Heroin was also being sold at a steady clip by Martin “Osama” Rodriguez, who would order 6 to 12 grams of heroin from Gonzalez every few days and sell it on a daily basis, according to the affidavit.


    Also in Oceanside, Theresa Lapolla is accused of distributing heroin out of her home, located less than 700 feet from three schools. A search of her home revealed more than 100 grams of the drug, authorities said.


    The investigation also identified Adrian “Bandit” Gomez, a documented Carlsbad gang member, as a methamphetamine dealer, authorities said. Investigators found evidence that he’d been selling the drug out of a home on Emerald Drive in Oceanside where he lived with family members, according to court documents. A handgun was found in a dresser.


    In an interview with investigators, Gomez said he didn’t live at the house and the gun belonged to his brother, who had been recently killed in an officer-involved shooting.


    An Encinitas gang member, Colin Jones, was arrested at Pala Indian Casino last summer with a loaded AR-15-style rifle in his car, along with heroin and ammunition, authorities said. He is accused of selling high volumes of heroin and meth.


    Some of the drugs were smuggled from Tijuana in body cavities into the U.S., according to investigators. For example, Jones is accused of crossing into Mexico every five days or so to replenish his supply. Investigators said he used the pedestrian lanes at San Ysidro and Otay Mesa ports of entry 38 times in eight months prior to his arrest last summer.

    http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/...228-story.html

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    All illegals should be deported - let us be rid of this depraved element.

    They think they died and went to heaven - a country with easily enticed drug buyers, mucho pesos, AND OPEN BORDERS WITH LENIENT COURT SYSTEMS, SOROS MONEYED .ORGS LEGAL REP FOR FREE, GOV'T REPS (aka obama, nancy, chuck, all sanctuary city mayors) THAT THE CITIZENS OF A COUNTRY THEY UNLAWFULLY INVADED HAVE TO PAY FOR - AND THEIR MUCHO BABIES - EMPLOY THEM TOO! trump wants to amnesty 1.8 million to who knows how high he will go in #s to unnecessarily bargain for his wall - get them ALL OUTTA HERE!
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