22 grand jury indictments made from San Diego Police Department undercover drug operation
EAST VILLAGE (KUSI) — The San Diego Police Department announced 22 grand jury indictments against 31 suspects were made in connection to an undercover drug investigation that began in October, named "Operation Hard Candy." The operation targeted street-level drug dealers in the East Village neighborhood. The Central Division Command Enforcement Team launched the project in response to complaints from residents and businesses about drug sales and use throughout the area.
Undercover officers purchased an assortment of controlled substances including methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin.
"The presence of prevalent drug dealing in a neighborhood invariably leads to an increase of other various crimes like robberies and theft," District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said. "Working with SDPD, we were able to respond to the community’s concerns and take a significant criminal element off the streets."
"Competition between these dealers over control of the drug trade, combined with criminal street gang influence, was creating a dangerous environment for the entire community," San Diego police Chief Shelley Zimmerman said of the operation.
26 of the 31 defendants have been arrested and are in the process of being prosecuted. 20 defendants have pleaded guilty and will be sentenced in May. Charges include sales of controlled substances and vary depending on the criminal record of each defendant.