The number of individuals arrested in Operation Double Down, a campaign by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department to target drug dealers working in Fallbrook and the surrounding communities of Bonsall, Rainbow and De Luz, has peaked at 53, according to Detective/Sergeant Patrick Yates.
Forty-nine people were arrested Sept. 21 when deputies from the Fallbrook substation along with personnel from other units within the Sheriff’s Department and other law enforcement agencies served arrest and search warrants.
“There have been four more arrests related to Operation Double Down that have taken place since the initial takedown,” said Yates on Oct. 23. “All the arrests were for felony warrants related to the sale of drugs to undercover deputies during Double Down.”
The four arrested were: Joanna Gardner, 34, of Fallbrook; Matthew Hill, 23, Fallbrook; Shawnette Hanson, 39, Fallbrook; and Jason Fowler, 33, Lake Elsinore. Gardner, Hill and Hanson were arrested in Fallbrook by Fallbrook Sheriff’s Deputies; Fowler was arrested in Riverside County by Riverside Sheriff’s Deputies.
“All of our targets have been arrested or are still in custody,” said Yates of the successful operation that began in January.
While the apprehension side of Operation Double Down is completed, Yates said the job is “far from over.”
“We have tons and tons of paperwork involved to make sure that everyone that we’ve arrested gets the maximum sentence,” said Yates. “We have a lot of court (proceedings), a lot of meetings with the attorneys for both sides – defense attorneys, district attorneys, Assistant U.S. Attorney’s Office – providing all the evidence and lab work.”
Yates added that the Sheriff’s Department is already working on its next operation to battle the never-ending war on drugs.
“We have already identified new people that have moved in to take care of the vacuum that’s opened up (as a result of the Operation Double Down arrests),” said Yates.