More Than 50 Arrested During Crackdown on Felons, Drug Dealers

More Than 50 Arrested During Crackdown on Felons, Drug Dealers

News Staff

A sweep Thursday targeting gang members, drug dealers and wanted felons in the Hemet and San Jacinto valleys netted 58 arrests, along with weapons and other seizures.

“Operation Valley Vigilance II” involved multiple law enforcement units affiliated with the Riverside County Gang Impact Team serving warrants in a variety of locations, according to the District Attorney’s Office, whose investigators head up the team.

“In this county, we have a remarkable level of cooperation within our law enforcement agencies,” District Attorney Mike Hestrin said. “We will continue to do this as long as our citizens are victimized by gang members.”

Hestrin was joined by other elected officials and law enforcement leaders from the area for a news briefing at Hemet City Hall to announce results of Valley Vigilance II.

“Today is a good day for the people of the San Jacinto Valley,” Hemet Police Chief Rob Webb said. “Today’s operation shows the results of months of high-level investigative and undercover operations conducted by the Gang Impact Team.”

The 58 suspects were taken into custody after anti-gang personnel served 41 arrest and 21 search warrants, according to the D.A.’s office.

The operation has been underway since late spring, resulting in 48 previous arrests and the seizure of 45 guns, as well as over five pounds of methamphetamine, officials said.

“Operation Valley Vigilance I” concluded on June 29, 2017, and culminated in 57 arrests and the seizure of 77 firearms and about six pounds of meth, according to the D.A.’s office.

Officials vowed that the crackdowns will continue in an effort to quell criminal activity, particularly violent crime.

Along with D.A.’s office investigators, the Gang Impact Team is comprised of Hemet and Corona police officers, FBI agents, Border Patrol agents, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations personnel and others.

Thursday’s operation additionally involved Riverside and San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies, along with county probation, California Highway Patrol, Banning, Cathedral City, Indio, Murrieta and Riverside police officers.