Liz Swain 4:24 p.m., May 24
Oceanside Police finished a special operation in which they arrested 11 persons associated with drug and gang activity, they announced in a press conference this week.
The special investigation began four months ago, police said, when they put a wire-tap on the telephone of George Orosco, who was called a “primary suspect.”
Police Captain Ray Bechler said Orosco is a documented member of the Posole street gang and is known by the alias “Armstrong” and the moniker “Stretch.” Police especially targeted Orosco because of his prodigious sales of methamphetamine, Capt. Bechler told a gathering of news reporters.
Police also targeted Wayne Swanson, described as “42-ish,” and arrested him on suspicion of drugs for sale and felon in possession of weapons. A large photo was displayed of nine different weapons allegedly taken from Swanson’s home at the time of his arrest. One handgun, a Desert Eagle .50 caliber semi-automatic seen in the center of the photo, was particularly worrisome because it fires a bullet that is able to penetrate protective vests worn by officers, according to a well-informed source. Wayne Swanson is now a fugitive, he was released on bail after his arrest according to Capt. Belcher. Anyone with information on fugitives' whereabouts is asked to call 760-435-4580.
In all, eleven persons were arrested during the investigation, and four persons remain “outstanding,” police said. Three children were taken from their mothers because the women “brought them with them during drug buys,” according to police. Those children are said to be in “protective custody” of DEC, Drug Endangered Children, workers.
The investigation was called “Operation 1620” because “P” is the 16th letter of the alphabet and “T” is the 20th letter of the alphabet and the targeted gang is calls their turf “Posole Town,” according to police.
Oceanside Police Chief Frank McCoy stated, “Today is a very good day for us, here in the city of Oceanside.” He said through “aggressive efforts” and the help of multiple agencies, they targeted drug sales and other gang activity and they made “Oceanside a safer place for everybody.”
The chief said six search warrants were served on different homes, more than a pound of meth was seized, two stolen vehicles were recovered, and more than $8,000 cash was seized. That cash will eventually go into an “asset seizure fund,” according to Capt. Bechler, and then used for “law enforcement purposes.”
More than $3,000 worth of electronic items that had been stolen in “one residential burglary” was recovered, according to a well-placed source.
Police Chief McCoy said agencies who worked together included: the F.B.I. and the San Diego County District Attorney’s office and Escondido Police and the North County Judge Task Force and State Parole and County Probation and U.S. Homeland Security and the U.S. Marshal’s Service.