FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lt. Chris Wynn, 760-839-4700
In May 2010, the Mobile Enforcement Team (MET) from the San Diego Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) began Operation Hidden Valley in the City of Escondido aimed at targeting major drug traffickers and gangs in the City of Escondido and the North County Region. MET was partnered with the Escondido Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) and Special Enforcement Team (SET) in order to conduct a large scale, joint operation.
MET and EPD personnel began an aggressive investigation into multiple drug organizations operating within the City and North San Diego County Area. Intelligence was gathered and large quantities of narcotics and firearms have been purchased and seized to this point in the operation. To date, approximately 86 suspects have been identified and over 1,300 items of evidence have been seized.
In November 2010, both MET and officers from EPD began the process of arresting the named suspects in this case. Over the course of a month, 59 defendants were taken into custody and 27 arrest warrants were issued. Defendants are being prosecuted either federally or through the state depending on the severity of their charges or the quantity of narcotics and/or firearms sold.
To date, Operation Hidden Valley has yielded the following results:
35 firearms have been seized
35.5 pounds of Methamphetamine (Street value $639,000)
1.44 pounds of Cocaine (Street value $14,400)
4.33 pounds of Marijuana (Street value $12,990)
0.6 pounds of Heroin have been seized (Street value $13,440)
250 hits of LSD have been seized (Street value $5000)
3000 prescription pills have been seized
40 Ecstasy pills have been seized (Street value $600)
$99,281 of U.S. currency was seized
The operation is ongoing and additional narcotics, firearms and money seizures, as well as additional arrests are anticipated. The names of the arrested persons will be made available once all of the suspects in this investigation have been arrested.
The Escondido Police Department would like to extend its sincere appreciation to MET for their countless hours of investigation during this deployment.
To report any suspicious activities in your neighborhood, you may contact the Police Department directly, or you may make an unidentified call on our Anonymous Tip Line at 760-743-TIPS (8477) or via our Web site at police.escondido.org.