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5 in Lemon Grove/Spring Valley Area Among 15 Arrested in East County Probation Sweep

Law enforcement found weapons, drugs and a sex offender in custody of a baby.

Updated at 5:40 p.m. Sept. 21, 2012

Lemon Grove probationers were among 15 people arrested Thursday night as law enforcement agencies teamed to perform probation compliance checks on 75 East County residents, according to the County Probation Department.

About 85 deputies and officers, including 25 probation officers, arrested five people suspected of new crimes and 10 for violating conditions of their probation.

County spokeswoman Yvette Urrea Moe told Patch that six men were arrested in La Mesa, four men and a woman in the Spring Valley and Lemon Grove area and two in the Santee-Lakeside area—one juvenile and an adult male.

She said two were arrested in El Cajon—a juvenile and adult male.

The La Mesa and El Cajon police departments, the Sheriff’s Department, the County Probation Department, and members of three regional gang task force took part in the sweep.

Enforcement teams seized 10 knives, a firearm replica, ammunition and various amounts of pills, methamphetamine, marijuana and glass pipes used to smoke drugs, said Probation Officer Shaun Rex.

None of the probationers are allowed to be in possession of any deadly weapon, illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia.

One sex offender on probation was arrested after a team found him holding a baby, a clear violation of the terms of his probation, Rex said. The child was not harmed or taken into protective custody.

The sweep, dubbed “Operation Endless Summer,” focused on high-risk and gang affiliated probationers and post release offenders recently released from state prison and supervised by County Probation as part of California’s public safety realignment.

“This operation is an example of how the Probation Department is teaming up with local law enforcement to protect public safety by focusing extra attention on the offenders in our community who need it the most,” said Chief Probation Officer Mack Jenkins.

Since October 2011 more than 2000 offenders who had been in prison for a wide range of nonviolent offenses have been released to San Diego County and are supervised by County Probation.

According to the Sheriff's Department, these offenders are frequently more criminally sophisticated and may be at greater risk to reoffend than people on probation prior to realignment.

Thursday’s sweep included targets in Lemon Grove, Spring Valley, La Mesa, El Cajon, Santee, and Lakeside who were selected by local law enforcement and probation officers for extra attention. 

A County Probation Department press release contributed to this report.  

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