By Karen Brainard
The U.S. Attorney’s Office has released the names of several Ramonans arrested in the year-long undercover drug investigation that led to 65 arrests.
The multi-agency operation focused on Ramona and Poway with law enforcement officials seizing drugs with a total street value of $2.1 million, 76 firearms, a live grenade found at a Ramona residence, and $230,000 in cash. Drugs seized included 93 pounds of methamphetamine, 56 pounds of cocaine, 14 pounds of heroin, five pounds of prescription pills and 30 grams of marijuana. The majority of firearms were from Ramona, said Lt. James Bovet of the sheriff’s Ramona station.
According to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, about 80 percent of those arrested Sept. 10 are from Ramona, but the majority of names had not been released by press time as more arrests were expected this week. Check the
website, www.ramonasentinel.com for updates.
Bovet said those in custody will be facing felony charges.
The following Ramona residents are facing federal charges, as reported by the U.S. Attorney’s office:
•Juan Aguirre, suspected of distribution of methamphetamine and conspiracy, unlawful possession of firearm, and discharge of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.
•Paulino Aguirre, suspected of distribution of methamphetamine and conspiracy.
•Oscar Rodriguez-Torres, suspected of distribution of methamphetamine and conspiracy, and unlawful possession of firearm.
•Miguel Rodriguez-Torres, suspected of methamphetamine and conspiracy
•Jose Ernesto Dinero, suspected of distribution of methamphetamine.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, some residences had not been determined yet. Also facing federal charges are:
•Christopher Maldonado from Poway, Jose Tyoran, John Caudle, Michelle Vasquez, and Israel Ornelas, suspected of distribution of methamphetamine and conspiracy.
•Johnny Castillo, suspected of distribution of methamphetamine and conspiracy, and unlawful possession of firearm.
•Todd Young, suspected of distribution of methamphetamine and conspiracy, and unlawful possession of firearm
Operation Mountain Shadow was launched in October 2012 in response to numerous citizen complaints and a spike in crime in Ramona and Poway that was tied to heroin and methamphetamine trafficking, said officials.
Participating in the operation were the sheriff’s department, district attorney’s office, Drug Enforcement Administration Violent Trafficking Team; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Marshals Service; Regional Auto Theft Task Force; U.S. Attorney’s Office; U.S. Border Patrol; Narcotics Task Force; and FBI Violent Gang Task Force.