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Drug Sting Claims 19 Arrests in Napa

Here are the names of all 19 people nabbed in the undercover sting dubbed "Operation Clean Sweep." The investigation began in December, 2011 and when it all came down Thursday morning, Napa Patch reporter Marsha Dorgan rode along.

The Napa Special Investigations Burea has announced the arrests of 19 people in a sting investigation code-named "Operation Clean Sweep."

and the other three were already in custody, according to a press release (attached).

Napa Patch reporter Marsha Dorgan rode along with police Thursday morning as they made a series of busts in Napa neighborhoods.

At a First Street home with a Mercedes sedan in the driveway, Dorgan saw one woman arrested after she ran naked from her bedroom with a loaded syringe and a bag of methamphetamine.

Tammie Hernandez, 54, was captured, allowed to dress and taken aboard the sheriff's department paddy wagon along with her husband Ferrell Baker, 56.

Other arrests took place in a mobile home estate and at a motor home parked in a residential neighborhood.

By 1:30 p.m. agents had arrested 14 people and another two were taken into custody later in the day, according to messages from police.

Suspects arrested May 3, according to the attached press release:

Buddy Murdock, 51, of the 2900 block of First Street, arrested in Roseville.

Mitchell Jack Manley, 48, of the 1300 block of Pueblo Avenue.

Ruben Gonzalez, 50, of the 2700 block of Laurel Street.

Michael Deweese, 49, of the 500 block of Franklin Street.

Jerry Milton Fowler, 62, of the 1200 block of Eggleston Street.

Mitchell Shelton, 25, of the 2700 block of Elks Way.

Jodie Downing, 38. transient.

Kyle Robillos, 22, transient.

Tiffany Cronin, 29, transient.

Joshua Fitzgerald, 23, transient.

David Goforth, 55, transient.

Ferrell Baker, 56, 2900 block First Street.

Tammi Hernandez, 54, 2900 block First Street.

Julia Mahoney, 57, 2900 block Hilltop Street.

Additional suspects arrested May 3

Victor Graham, 19, transient.

Dustin Payne, 19, 600 Rio Vista Drive.

According to an email from police Thursday evening:

Following up on developing information, NSIB agents and Sheriff’s Deputies went to the residence of 19 year old Dustin Payne, in the 600 block of Rio Vista Drive.  Once there, they found Dustin Payne to be knowingly harboring one of NSIB’s felony fugitives, 19 year old Victor Graham.  Graham was arrested on the felony warrant related to meth sales while Payne was arrested for charges related to harboring a fugitive, possession of controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Already in custody and booked at the Napa jail on warrants from the sting operation:

Craig Funk, 27; Desire Biale, 26; Jason Salinas, 29.

From Marsha Dorgan's eyewitness report on the morning's raids, ":"

Drug agents, along with sheriff’s deputies, Napa police officers, the SWAT team and Sheriff’s paddy wagon set out at dawn Thursday with the goal of making 19 arrests that day.

After serving search and arrest warrants at residences, the officers continued the operation looking for homeless and couch-surfing suspects.

All were booked on felony drug charges including possession and possession of drugs for sale.

Operation Clean Sweep's goal is to get the smaller drug dealers off the streets, according to Napa Special Bureau Investigations Sgt. Oscar Ortiz.

“The majority of these drug dealers are arrested for possession of meth and not selling. They do both,” Ortiz said.

Both possession and selling are felonies, but selling drugs is a more serious offense, which can result in doing prison time.

Most of the targeted suspects have prior criminal history, such as domestic violence, burglary, grand theft, robbery and fraud.

Informant assisted with investigation

The undercover operation included an earlier series of drug deals with the suspects and a NSIB drug informant.

The informant would arrange a “buy” from a drug dealer. When the deal went down, drug agents were there in unmarked cars, video taping the entire transaction.

“We wanted to make all the arrests at one time. We want to make an impact and get these dealers off the streets,” Ortiz said.

Drug dealers are not shy about doing business in public places, even the in front of the county jail.

A drug deal was made by the informant and dealer as the dealer was going to his drug abuse program at the jail on Coombs Street.

Others were made in shopping center parking lots, inside a liquor store and at the dealers’ house.

“One couple met the informant to sell him drugs at a shopping center parking lot, and they had their young child in the backseat strapped in a car seat,” Ortiz said.

“They did that on two different buys. They will be charged with felony child endangerment.”

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Marsha Dorgan May 04, 2012 at 12:40 AM
I want to thank the NSIB unit for their confidence and trust in me to include me in this undercover operation to get the small drug dealers off the streets. It was an eye-opening experience riding along with the drug agents as they documented each and every drug sale. I will be writing future stories about my ridealongs with NSIB.
Linda Reid May 04, 2012 at 01:36 AM
Well done to everyone involved.
Michelle May 04, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Good job with no casualties! Get these losers off the streets!!!
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) May 04, 2012 at 05:38 AM
Thank you, Marsha, for your great work on this investigation, from the moment the NSIB called you months ago through all the busts today. Bet I am not the only one looking forward to your further tales of the meth patrol.
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) May 04, 2012 at 05:39 AM
p.s. They grabbed two more tonight, both 19-year-old men; please see the updated story.

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