All together, the drugs weighed about 150 pounds. Seventy-six guns and a live hand grenade also were seized.
The yearlong effort dubbed "Operation Mountain Shadow" focused on Poway and Ramona, because law enforcement authorities said they received complaints about crimes there, according to law enforcement officials.
Personnel with the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and other agencies served a dozen search warrants in the case this morning. Nine of those warrants were served in Ramona, and about 80 percent of arrests took place in Ramona, according to the Sheriff's Department.
Ramonans awoke to a multitude of law enforcement vehicles in town, including a helicopter, especially congregating around Old Julian Highway and San Diego Country Estates.
Multiple witnesses in Ramona reported hearing what they thought were gunshots, but according to the Sheriff's Department, no one was fired upon and no one was injured. They said "small arms explosive breaching devices" were used to gain entry to a building, which may account for the noise.
According to the agencies:
Seized were 93 pounds of methamphetamine, 56 pounds of cocaine, 14 pounds of heroin, five pounds of prescription pills, 30 grams of marijuana and $230,000 in cash.
Those arrested face federal charges of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and could face other state charges. If convicted, they will face sentences ranging from probation to 25 years in prison. Some of the defendants appeared before a judge in Superior Court in San Diego this afternoon.
Those arrested in Poway were described as younger drug dealers, while those in Ramona were described as a more experienced group of suspects with a longer criminal history in general.
Among agencies taking part in the operation were the DEA Violent Trafficking Team; U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Marshals Service; U.S. Attorney's Office; U.S. Border Patrol; FBI Violent Gang Task Force; Regional Auto Theft Task Force; San Diego County District Attorney's Office; and the county Narcotics Task Force.
"We will track you down and take your drug operation down link by link," District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said, as a warning to other drug dealers.Tim Teichert described the roadblocks in place in Ramona for the operation Tuesday morning, from Facebook:
"Old Julian Hwy was shut down this morning (approx. 7:30am) when I tried to take my kids to school. The road was blocked off by 2 Sheriff's cruisers, law enforcement officers in full military style attire, rifles out and a K-9 animal in the center of the street. The road block on Old Julian was just west of Cinnamon Rock Road, with at least 3 law enforcement vehicles and accompanying personnel positioned about 50 yards onto Cinnamon Rock Road. The eastbound road block was at the very end of the long straightaway, just beyond the large chicken barn on Old Julian Hwy."