Drug bust nets 52 around downtown area

City News Service

San Diego police arrested 52 people in and around downtown San Diego on suspicion of selling drugs as part of a six-week crackdown, a lieutenant said Tuesday.

“Operation May Day’’ targeted street-level dealers in Logan Heights, Sherman Heights, the East Village and other nearby inner-city neighborhoods, SDPD public-affairs Lt. Andra Brown said.

A total of 69 suspects were identified, and 52 of them were arrested over the last week of the undercover operation, according to Brown.

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis hailed the operation, initiated by the SDPD Central Division Narcotics Team, as an enforcement effort that “will help make San Diego’s downtown neighborhoods safer for residents, visitors and businesses located there.’'

“Many of the ... defendants indicted in this operation are career criminals and face mandatory, lengthy prison terms,’' Dumanis said.

During the investigation, which ran from May 1 to June 10, plainclothes officers made numerous drug buys, resulting in 32 criminal cases involving alleged sales of cocaine base, 12 stemming from methamphetamine sales, three for heroin sales, and one each of sales of marijuana and prescription drugs, Brown said.

After receiving investigative reports from the SDPD, the District Attorney’s Office presented the cases to a grand jury, which handed down indictments.

The Superior Court then issued arrest warrants for all 69 suspects, who are expected to be charged with a variety of crimes, ranging from illicit drug sales and possession of controlled substances to facilitating the sales of narcotics.

Thirty-two of those indicted are on parole and 15 on probation.