Sweep nets 50 arrests

Officials seize 15 firearms from one house in Hesperia

May 23, 2008 – 9:50PM
By BEATRIZ E. VALENZUELA Staff Writer

About 50 people were taken into custody for parole and probation violations and warrant searches during a multi-agency sweep Friday night, according to sheriff’s officials.

More than 12 agencies including the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s S.M.A.S.H Gang Team, Probation Department, and various sheriff’s and police stations took part in the sweep, which targeted violators in Apple Valley and Hesperia, said Trish Hill, spokeswoman for the Apple Valley station.

“There will be 30 teams of two hitting Apple Valley and 30 teams of two hitting Hesperia,” Hill said.

During one check in Hesperia more than 15 firearms were found, which was a violation of the person’s parole terms, according to reports.

“All of this came out of one house,” said Detective Jeremy Martinez with the S.M.A.S.H. Team.

Other violations included drug possession, evading and possession of a firearm.

The operation is a conscious effort by law enforcement to deal with the growing gang problem in the High Desert, said Deputy Brian Roper of the High Desert Regional S.M.A.S.H. Team.

“A lot of times the deputies from cities are tasked with calls and it is very difficult for them to go out and conduct these parole checks and serve warrants,” Roper said. He added that having the different departments come together helps keep tabs on gang members and violators.

“The majority of the crime committed here have been gang related. These types of operations are effective in helping us curb some of it,” Roper said.

Those who were found to be gang members had a gang card filled out on them which, among other things, catalogs tattoos and gang affiliation.
The operation continued until midnight.

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