San Diego County CA– From dark alleys to your computer screens, drug dealers are now using the Internet as a modern day street corner for illegal activity. With a few keywords and the click of a mouse, anyone including our children can easily get dangerous drugs on the web through on-line illegal drug sales.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is cracking down on online drug dealers. A five-month investigation dubbed Operation.Com has resulted in 19 arrests, as well as seizure of drugs and $25,000 in cash.
Undercover deputies with the Sheriff’s High Intensity Drug Traffic Area (HIDTA)/Tactical Narcotics Team (TNT) responded to Craigslist and Facebook posts. Undercover deputies and agents from the Border Crime Suppression Team (BCST), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Border Patrol also took part in Operation.Com. They were able to make 41 undercover buys from November 2013 through April 2014.
Drug deals start with open advertisements for Heroin, Methamphetamine, Cocaine, Ecstasy, LSD (a hallucinogen), as well as numerous types of prescription drugs. The ads mention discreet code words such as “Roxy board shorts size 30” for 30 milligrams of Roxicodone. Heroin is listed for sale as “roofing tar.”
The suspects range in age from 26 to 45. Most of them are unemployed or students.
In this digital age when you can find and buy almost anything online, the Sheriff’s Department wants to send a clear message to drug dealers. Whether the drug deal happens on the streets or on the Internet, it is a crime. It is also illegal to sell prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription. We are also urging parents to be involved and educate their children about being safe online. Those arrested are facing multiple charges of conspiracy, possession of controlled substances, possession of controlled substances for sales, and transportation of controlled substances for sales. They will face a judge in two or three months. The investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected.
- Arrests:19 (One Suspect Arrested Twice)
- Total Criminal Cases: 26 (24 Felony, 2 Misdemeanor)
- Chargeable Suspects: 24 (Some suspects have multiple cases)
- Successful Buys: 41
- Search Warrants Served: 5
- Arrest Warrants Cleared: 4
- Arrest Warrants Outstanding: 7
- CPS / DEC (Child Endangerment): 2
- SEIZURES (Approximations pending laboratory processes)
- Pharmaceuticals: 1,283 Dosage Units
- Heroin: half-ounce Ounce
- Methamphetamine: 1 Ounce
- Cocaine: 6.3 Grams
- MDMA: 16 Dosage Units
- Currency $25,000.00 (U.S. & Foreign)
- Joel Alexander Burge 09/15/1985 San Diego
- Shakeana Deion Cottingham 09/11/1989 San Diego
- Natalie Cuenca 12/13/1982 Escondido
- Aubrey Lynn Desanti 11/25/1987 San Diego
- Raymond Spahr Douglas 06/27/1986 San Diego
- Andrew Cameron Gall 02/19/1993 Poway
- Melody Herrera 09/06/1993 El Cajon
- Katherine Amanda Hobden 12/04/1990 San Diego
- Michael Frank Moody 01/26/1984 La Mesa
- Jason Patrick Murphy 06/04/1976 San Diego
- Tyler Alexander Parrish 05/09/1987 San Diego
- Nicholas Bartolomeo Pinto 07/26/1989 Poway
- Henry Oravio Reyes 10/01/1975 Escondido
- Nicholas Eric Segalle 03/17/1981 Menifee
- Tyrone Demetruis Sigler 12/09/1969 San Diego
- Joseph Sternberg 08/27/1978 San Diego
- Natalie Toillion 10/24/1992 San Diego
- Gavin Thomas Yeakey 12/01/1976 Encinitas
You can safely get rid of unwanted or expired medications at any Sheriff’s Station or Substations weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For locations, visit http://goo.gl/5PAQy. If you know someone who needs help with a substance abuse problem, call the County Crisis Hotline at (888) 724-7240.