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February 14, 2013 -
Francisco Torrez, 31, was arrested for possession of methamphetamine for sales. He was additionally charged with maintaining a place for the sales of drugs, receiving stolen property (an Ipad), and a probation violation for possessing live ammunition.
Terrell Lamar Manning, 32, described by law enforcement at the scene as a “well-known drug runner”, was arrested for being present at a location where illegal substances are used, which is a violation of his probation.
Jessica Ann Castillo, 24, is on probation and arrested for being at a location where drugs are used.
Rudolph Frank Soto, 46, for possession of methamphetamine for sales.
Preston Lee Earl Greer, 24, for a misdemeanor warrant.
Antonio Torrez Jr., 24, for possession of methamphetamine.
A 16-year old juvenile was also arrested for possession of methamphetamine.
The apartments searched were in Palmdale’s “focus neighborhood.” This area was identified by both the City of Palmdale and the Sheriff’s Department as a neighborhood needing additional resources to improve the quality of life. In a recent Town Hall meeting it was revealed that gangs and drugs are the top two problems in the area that residents wanted to see resolved.
Paul Clay, the Palmdale Station’s Partners Against Crime (PAC) Lieutenant and incident commander of these searches stated, “The result of this operation shows the need for additional law enforcement and city resources to be active and deployed into this neighborhood.” He said the operation was successful despite a high level of technical sophistication found at one of the searched locations. A closed-circuit television monitoring system was set up in a garage where several of the arrested individuals were living and where methamphetamine was found. Along with the surveillance equipment a safe was also found in the garage. One of the arrested, Rudolph Frank Soto, claimed ownership of the safe, but said he had lost the keys. The safe was forcibly opened by deputies and a quantity of methamphetamine was found. The keys to the safe were found after a search of Soto’s person.
Lieutenant Larry Gregg of the Antelope Valley Crime Fighting Initiatives (AVCFI) said of Wednesday’s operation, “This is the first of many operations that will be conducted in this area in order to create safer neighborhoods for all of Palmdale’s residents. Those arrested this morning, I can assure you, do not just conduct their criminal activity along these blocks. They are leaving the area and conducting their criminality throughout the City of Palmdale.” He said that the department will need to look at probationers in the area and conduct probation compliance searches to ensure that their terms and conditions are being met.
The Palmdale Station intends to enforce the laws that apply to the surveillance activity in the area.