A weekend crackdown on gang crime netted 246 arrests in several areas of the county, including Lemon Grove, Spring Valley and La Mesa, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department announced Monday.
Along with those taken into custody, more than $41,000 in cash was seized, as were a variety of drugs with a street value of $70,000.
“Operation Allied Shield III” was the third phase of multi-agency program that began last April. The two-day operation was carried out over a nine-hour period beginning at 5 p.m. Friday and ending at 2 a.m. Saturday, according to Sheriff Bill Gore. The goal of the sweep was to put a dent in the ability of local gangs to take part in drug smuggling, human trafficking and other cross-border crimes directed by transnational criminal organizations, according to Gore.
A total of 680 law enforcement personnel from 17 local, state and federal agencies took part.
During the sweep, authorities made 246 arrests in connection with a wide variety of criminal activity, such as possession of illegal drugs, DUIs and other traffic violations, and parole and probation violations.
Law enforcement conducted 304 field interviews during the crackdown, identified 80 documented gang members, and arrested 22 documented gang members.
In addition, 8,278 grams of marijuana, 237 grams of methamphetamine, 38 grams of cocaine, 15.25 grams of heroin, and 775 Ecstasy pills were impounded.
According to Gore, law enforcement intelligence has shown that cross-border crime groups, such as Mexican drug cartels, have enlisted U.S. gangs to further their illicit operations.
Funding for the local and state law enforcement agencies came from a $28.3M Department of Homeland Security grant. The initiative is supported by the DHS and the Department of Justice as part of a multi-faceted approach to border security.
City News Service contributed to this report.