Cars, Drugs And Military Equipment Captured In Undercover Operation “Perfect Storm”
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Aired 6/6/13 on KPBS News.
A flood of indictments is capping off a eight month sting by the Regional Auto Task Force known as RATT. Cars, guns, and military equipment stolen from Camp Pendleton were recovered during the operation.
SAN DIEGO Guns, drugs and even expensive military equipment like night vision goggles made up the cache of stolen goods "Operation Perfect Storm" took off the streets in North County. San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis announced that 64 people had been arrested in 30 separate cases, taking dozens of criminal rings off the street.
Dumanis announced the indictments at a press conference on Wednesday.
"It's clear from this operation that an auto thief's criminal network often goes well beyond just stealing cars and trucks the latest Regional Auto Theft Task Force, or RATT operation has also shut down crime rings in the county that are also trafficking in guns, stolen military equipment and drugs," Dumanis said.
This was the first time the task force worked with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, better known as NCIS. They recovered military equipment stolen from Camp Pendleton and some of the indicted were associated with the military including two active duty marines. RATT Commander Scott Parker said interagency cooperation made it possible.
“As part of this operation, and with the assistance of our counterparts, sensitive and dangerous military grade equipment was sold and intercepted by our agent,” Parker said.
Parker said it’s the biggest sweep he has seen.