VICTORVILLE-(VVNG.com): A four-month series of crime sweeps in the High Desert has ended with 543 arrests, according to Robert A. Lovingood, vice chair of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors.
A total of 16 Desert Guardian crime suppression sweeps were conducted between July 31 and Nov. 21, according to Lovingood, who made a special discretionary allocation of $50,000 to support the sweeps. Local cities contributed $10,000 each. Desert Guardian operations focused on conducting criminal suppression efforts through high visibility enforcement with the goal of creating a safer environment for the residents in the Victor Valley.
“Desert Guardian is a highly effective operation that makes our neighborhoods safer,” Lovingood said. “I want to thank Sheriff’ McMahon and all of the deputies and dispatchers who made this operation a success.”
Each of the 16 sweeps included a sergeant, eight patrol deputies, a transportation deputy, and a dedicated dispatcher. With the additional arrests from the SMASH sweeps involving the four stations, this year’s Desert Guardian exceeded last year’s total number of arrests by 25. Twice as many guns were confiscated but less than half the number of knives were recovered. Other than marijuana, drug seizures were much less than last year.
“Counties and cities all over California are dealing with the aftermath of AB 109 and Proposition 47, two statewide changes that reduce criminal penalties,” Lovingood said. “In San Bernardino County we are keeping the pressure on criminals, and we are going to hold them accountable.”
In the past two years, San Bernardino County has added 25 deputies to unincorporated areas without increasing costs. The Sheriff’s Department is shifting drug enforcement deputies to expand gang units.
The results of the 2015-16 Desert Guardian/SMASH operations are as follows:
Total Arrests: 543
Misdemeanor Arrests: 429
Felony Arrests: 114
New Charge Arrests: 119
Probation/Parole Arrests: 63
A.B. 109 Arrests: 7
Gang Cards: 63
Total Guns: 9
Total Knives: 4
Methamphetamine: 118.2 grams and
Cocaine: 4.3 grams
Marijuana: 5 pounds 11 ounces and 1 Gallon of Marijuana Wax
Other: 27 pills taken B&P Violation-Possession w/o Prescription
1 Ecstacy pill
1 Grand Theft Auto Recovery
(Press release: From the office of Robert A. Lovingood)