A five-month undercover operation in which two police officers successfully infiltrated street gangs has pinpointed 114 suspected drug dealers, police announced Sunday.
Warrants for the arrest of 40 people were issued Friday by the district attorney’s office, and arrest warrants for the rest are expected to be issued shortly, said San Diego Police Department spokesman Bill Robinson. The arrests, he said, “will have a significant impact on the availability of drugs, specifically rock cocaine, on our streets.”
The project was undertaken by the department’s Narcotics Street Team in August, as an attempt to tackle the city’s growing rock cocaine problem. Robinson said the officers were placed “in a deeper, more dangerous undercover role than is normally undertaken by city police officers.”
During the operation, which ended last week, two officers gained the confidence of drug dealers and gang members and participated in more than 250 narcotics purchases, Robinson said.
Police said many of the 114 suspects are known gang members or associates of gang members. The number of suspects arrested by Sunday was unknown, he said.
“This project serves as a notice to drug dealers and gang members that the Police Department is willing to undertake dangerous and difficult long-term projects in order to meet the challenge of illegal drugs in our community,” Robinson said.