News Release
December 13, 2006

DEA MET Team Deployment Brings Relief to San Bernardino
SBPD and DEA round-up gang members

seized money(San Bernardino, California) –Ralph W. Partridge, Acting Special Agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Los Angeles Field Division and San Bernardino Police Department (SBPD) Chief Michael Billdt announced today the results of a coordinated enforcement effort that targeted drug violence and gangs in San Bernardino, California. This joint investigation involved members of the Mexican Mafia and local gang members. Today, more than 400 officers participated in serving search warrants and in making arrests for charges related to illegal weapons and narcotics, and in the process dismantled a local gang related criminal enterprise. Significant amounts of narcotics, weapons and cash were seized.

During the past seven months, the DEA has deployed their Mobile Enforcement Team (DEA) to the San Bernardino area to assist local law enforcement agencies with the surge of methamphetamine and weapons trafficking by San Bernardino based violent criminal street gangs. The investigation encompassed gang members operating in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties as well as San Manuel Indian Reservation.

Ralph W. Partridge, DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge, stated “This joint SBPD and MET operation will have a significant impact on drug and gang activity in the San Bernardino area. Today’s operation highlights the outstanding results that are achieved though cooperative investigations. DEA will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to take these violent criminals off our streets.”

This special operation began in May 2006, after the SBPD requested DEA assistance in targeting the gang activity and street level narcotics dealers operating in the San Bernardino area. The DEA’s Mobile Enforcement Team (MET) was deployed to work in San Bernardino as a task force with officers from the San Bernardino Police Department.

seized moneyTo date, this operation has resulted in the arrest of 119 individuals and the seizure of 41 vehicles, 56 guns, 35 pounds of methamphetamine and approximately $820,000 in United States Currency.

The DEA MET groups were formed in 1995 as away of responding to state and local law enforcement’s concerns about the spread of drug trafficking and the associated violence. The more than two dozen DEA MET teams operating throughout the United States are tasked with identifying and dismantling violent drug trafficking groups that have gained a foothold in some urban and rural areas.

Please forward any questions to DEA Los Angeles Public Information Officer SA Sarah Pullen at (213) 621-6827 or San Bernardino Police Department Lt. Mark Garcia at (909) 384-5742.

Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.


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