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Cars, Drugs And Military Equipment Captured In Undercover Operation “Perfect Storm”

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.

— 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.

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Avatar for user 'Roberto Rolando Salinas'

Roberto Rolando Salinas | June 6, 2013 at 10:17 p.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

The District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, and the the auto task force like most all law enforcement agencies always use arrest as the marker of success in reducing crime. But as we have seen time and time again, especially with the DA's office, the City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, and the U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy, arrest aren't convictions. All three have had a good number of high profile glitter cases reversed. At least Dumanis was honest enough to proclaim that her conviction record is the highest in the state, but never mentioned the failure of prosecuting the husband of the poor woman that got her throat slit at city college. Jan Goldsmith, another shinning example of what is wrong with the judicial system. He farms out the biggest cases for prosecution at a cost of millions in taxpayer money, and then prosecutes cases in house that should have been settled before they went to court. And last but not least, Laura Duffy, the Carl DeMaio supporter, she should have been fired for that political endorsement, says a lot about her mindset. A federal appeals court caught her and her prosecutors playing fast and dirty, deporting witnesses and not advising the defense about their testimony. Not to mention the non-priority in prosecuting federal law enforcement officers when they beat up the public and kill them. Yes, these three have a lot in common, mismanagement and incompetence. Can't wait till they are gone, it will be a breath of fresh air in the alleged halls of justice

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