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By Jose A. Alvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office

Video courtesy of San Diego County Meth Strike Force

July 11, 2018 (San Diego's East County) - Fourteen people were arrested Tuesday evening by law enforcement agencies from East County during saturation patrols and probation compliance checks in known hot spots for drug-related crime.

The patrols, known as Tip the Scale Operation, this time combed through the cities of El Cajon and La Mesa and parts of unincorporated East County.


Teams from the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, Probation Department, El Cajon and La Mesa Police Departments were joined by social workers from the Drug Endangered Children group of County Child Welfare Services, who were on scene as a resource to law enforcement teams, as well as addiction and recovery counselors.

At the command post, drug counselors had brief conversations with offenders about how their drug problems were negatively affecting their lives and stressed the importance of getting into drug treatment for better health, and to prevent future drug-related legal problems.

Non-violent offenders who test positive for drugs and who express a sincere willingness to try again can be taken straight to a residential treatment program instead of jail.

Twelve people agreed to speak with treatment counselors and three were sent directly to treatment.

“Drug cartels are flooding our communities with cheap, powerful meth and fentanyl. Tip the Scale gives eligible drug offenders, the addicted, chronic law breakers, a chance to break this plague,” said Chief Jeff Davis of the El Cajon Police Department.

One in four inmates in local jails across the country admit to committing their crimes to obtain money for drugs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. With this in mind, Tip the Scale is intended to identify and serve people in need of treatment, as well as families and communities who are adversely affected by drug-related crimes.

“The goal of Tip the Scale is to make sure offenders on probation are in compliance with their court orders, but also to steer drug offenders toward drug treatment resources,” said Division Chief Jason Druxman of the San Diego County Probation Department. “As always, drug treatment counselors are on hand during Tip the Scale, talking with offenders about their drug problems and how they might get their lives back on track.”

Tip the Scale is one of many efforts established to address persistent problems in the region. Among them:

Deaths linked to meth are at a record high in San Diego County. A meth related death now occurs every 23-hours.

Half of adults arrested test positive for methamphetamine, an all-time high since SANDAG began tracking this data more than two decades ago.

60 percent of all U.S. illegal meth seizures by federal agents happen in San Diego County.

Since 2009, Tip the Scale has led to more than 28,000 law enforcement contacts, 630 arrests, 360 treatment conversations. Also, at every operation, resource information packets were given to individuals and family members in need of assistance.

Residents throughout the county are urged to report meth-related crimes or seek information about treatment options by calling 1-877-NO-2-METH (1-877-662-6384) or by going online to www.no2meth.org.

In total, 14 people were arrested—1 on felony charges, 15 on misdemeanors and nine who had warrants for their arrest. They are:




Richard Rodriguez

11377 HS


Rene Dumas

Probation violation/30305 PC


Ernesto Bravo

Misdemeanor Warrant


Lawerence Stonebraker

Misdemeanor Warrant


Ronald Tyson

Probation violation


James Ballow

Misdemeanor Warrant


Terrell Askew

Misdemeanor Warrant


John Hensel

11350 HS


Shaun Yuen

Misdemeanor Warrant


Joe Vandirvort

Misdemeanor Warrant


Chasha Brown

Misdemeanor Warrant


Dale Ivy

3056 PC


Sean Montgomery

3452 (Q) PC


Tommy Bradley

11364 HS



Editor's note: The County has issued a correction after earlier sending a press release which stated there were 25 arrests due to "two groups of numbers mistakenly being added together," according to a county spokesman.


We need more of these operations

It's good to see law enforcement perform these sweeps. More please... Drugs are so commonplace in east county, and beyond. I doubt the abatement programs will ever work though, there's just too much financial profits involved despite jail time, violence and murders. I watch DRUGS INC. and it has been an eye opener! BORDER WARS is another good show. Not Hollywood - these are real events taking place in any town, U.S.A.