The DA’s Narcotics Division continued its extraordinary cooperation with other law enforcement agencies to prosecute illegal drug-related offenses in 2015. Led by Division Chief Steve Walter and Assistant Chief Stacey McReynolds, notable prosecutions during the year included:
Operation Double Take
Operation Double Take was started in late 2014 and was a deployment of DEA’s Metropolitan Enforcement Team to the Escondido area. Undercover DEA agents and Escondido Police detectives made multiple street-level buys of various controlled substances during the course of this operation. The take-down occurred in late February and resulted in the arrest of 29 individuals. Seizures during the course of this operation included: a total of 3.5 pounds of meth, 3 ounces of cocaine and two firearms. Twenty-three felony cases were prosecuted resulting in sentences ranging from probation to four years in state prison. This operation was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorneys Alison Boutilier, David Williams, and Hung Bach.
Operation Fallen Angel
Operation Fallen Angel was an undercover buy/walk project taken on by the San Diego Police Department’s Narcotics Division to address people openly using and selling drugs at all hours of the day in and around Officer Jeremy Henwood Park, which is adjacent to Rosa Parks Elementary School. The park is named for SDPD Officer Jeremy Henwood, who was killed in the line of duty in August, 2011. The park has tennis courts, a community swimming pool, a library, and a performing arts center. During the course of this operation, an undercover detective posed as a homeless person and spent long periods of time in the park associating with and cataloging the park’s drug users and dealers. Then a series of buys of methamphetamine, heroin, and marijuana were made from the individuals identified as drug dealers. Ten defendants were charged with multiple drug sales. Many of them have sales priors or violent criminal histories. This operation was handled by Deputy District Attorney Christina Eastman.
The division continues to assist federal, state, and local law enforcement officers with preparation and review of search and arrest warrants, other investigative issues, and assists law enforcement with proactive projects in specific high-crime areas. In addition, the Narcotics Division is assigned to handle both Federal and State Asset Forfeiture matters.