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Two-year investigation leads to 27 arrests

Original post made on Feb 9, 2012

Menlo Park police joined federal and local agencies in Operation Phallen Gardens, a task force investigation of drug suppliers and gangs, police announced Wednesday.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, February 9, 2012, 8:13 AM

Comments (26)

Posted by Happy, a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 9, 2012 at 10:18 am

Way To Go!!!!!

Posted by Relieved, a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 9, 2012 at 10:22 am

Good job!

Posted by x, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 9, 2012 at 10:36 am

Nice to get some of the scum off the streets.

Posted by Elizabeth, a resident of Midtown
on Feb 9, 2012 at 10:37 am

Thanks for cleaning up the greater neighborhood!

Posted by Paly Parent x3, a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 9, 2012 at 10:39 am

Great, great news and FANTASTIC JOB!!!! AWESOME!

Posted by Jared Bernstein, a resident of Professorville
on Feb 9, 2012 at 11:17 am

this story would be more informative if PA Online gave the location of the arrests. Like, for example, the arrests were made "near the intersection of Modoc and Hamilton Avenues, just east of Hwy 101" or some such...

Posted by Brentwood Parent x3, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 9, 2012 at 11:45 am

Thank you! Sometimes it seems the crime problem will never be solved - days like this are very encouraging to the great majority of EPA residents: law abiding citizens who would simply like a safe environment for their families.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 9, 2012 at 1:24 pm

900 officers to arrest these people? What did this operation cost? Way to go Feds - to justify your funding & staffing.

Posted by tyrant, a resident of Southgate
on Feb 9, 2012 at 2:13 pm

if weed was involved, most of it was a waste of taxpayers money.

Posted by Gethin, a resident of Midtown
on Feb 9, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Getting 27 scum out of our communities is never a waste of tax payer's money. I am sure these kinds of operations take a great deal of resources and a great deal of patience. I congratulate everyone involved.

Posted by Skeptik, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 9, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Though I applaud the effort and the results, it is like placing a 2 foot dike across a mile wide stretch of inland sea. What happens to our ability to reason when it comes to these things?
Our national slogan, whenever we are discussing the role of government, is to chant in unison that regulation should be a market process, in which laws of supply and demand fulfill any and all possible questions of safety, advisability, etc.
Well, it might not really work so well in the real world when it comes to safe pharmaceuticals or food or children's toys (in which the market would and has in the past fed us poison without remorse when allowed), but it definitely works in the world of underground economies, drug dealing and prostitution being primary among those.
You may have removed a couple of layers of the existing onion, but as long as there is such a huge market of affluent recreational and not so recreational users just across the freeway, you will have someone masterminding a way to corner that market and provide what is being sought.
There are undoubtedly users in East Palo Alto as well, but the big market is on the West side of the freeway.
Solution? Decriminalize drugs as has been done in most of the places in Europe where they have actually gotten a good handle on the problem of drug addiction and its marketing. Take the profit motiff out of the equation.

Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown
on Feb 9, 2012 at 8:39 pm

27 less thugs off the street! What is NOT to like?

Posted by Da realist, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 9, 2012 at 10:14 pm

All the hoopla over people choosin the underworld as a way of life. No different then a man/woman deciding to be the police. Man made all these bullshit laws to control people, however people are going to do what they want to do when they want to do it, so get use to it. It doesnt matter how many stings law officials put together, how many drug dealers, gang members, drug users get arrested, it's still going to be here. Hell our own government allows drugs to flow in an out of our communities at random. The rich get richer and the poor dont get a damn thing.

Yall happy about the bust, what about the millions of dollars that is going uncontested into former president bush (union 76 gas station owner) and prick cheney (guns an ammo) pockets, while the so-called american people struggle day in an out to survive....

I applaud you dealers, get your money, because our own government dont give a damn about us, if they did they wouldn't have out sourced all the jobs out the country for cheap labor....sounds very familiar huh?...Yes, modern day slavery is what it is called and so-called america is the biggest villian of it.......With that said GET IT HOW YOU LIVE IT and for those that dont like it, really you scared to get out there like them guys and get yours...........SISSY......

Posted by soypolicia, a resident of another community
on Feb 9, 2012 at 11:38 pm

Putting together an investigation of this scale requires support staff, logistics, evidence processing, etc... I'm sure that accounts for significant number of those involved.

Posted by Mom by Gunn, a resident of Green Acres
on Feb 10, 2012 at 3:42 am

ah, "de realist", you made me laugh :) Government don't give a damn about "US"?? Personal and private industries outsourced jobs and if you happen to be one of the users,abusers of drugs, I sure don't want you working for me~ Liability~ you may fall asleep on the job, that is IF you showed up for the job. People seem to take the easy way out thinkin' they are going to make more money selling drugs than goin' out and gettin' a 9-5 job at mCdEES...(McDonalds)...every sane person knows what eventually is going to happen to those who deal the life. "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time"~ know you MUST of heard that before.....Would like to think that since the schools have been trying to school the kids over drug usage for the last few decades, that the knowledge may have sunk in to them, to save them from a life of crime and incarceration...hard for a little guy to do if he has no back up, no incentive within his home...where does the usage and violence STOP?????

Posted by Brentwood Parent x3, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 10, 2012 at 9:43 am

Da Realist - I am not happy at all about Bush/Cheney, nor how our campaigns are financed in general. Completely agree with you about that. Heard of Occupy WallStreet? A lot of people are upset about that.

However I think you are more of 'de nialist' than 'da realist' if you think dealing drugs is somehow socking it to the corporate oligarchy. The drug lords don't care any more about the street dealers than the government.

And contrary to 'Mom by Gunn's post above, the alternative does not have to be a job at McDonalds. Kids in EPA are just as intelligent and capable as their PA neighbors - but they do need the support at home and in the community to get a great education, to have some choices about legitimate, decent paying (relatively - note above, I agree that there are major problems with distribution of wealth in this country) career. The adults/parents in the community need to decide that education is a priority and the right thing to do for the kids in the neighborhood. Give them a choice!

If after getting a great education and having other options, they decide they would rather deal drugs, so be it. Like you say, morally not that different then those on Wall Street involved in the financial meltdown. However, practically the drug dealers have a significantly smaller upside and exponentially greater chance of ending up incarcerated. So, would you rather be visiting your kid in the slammer or on his yacht in the Caribbean?

p.s. Yelling 'SISSY' is classic bullying, not a sign of rational argument. Someone who yells 'SISSY' at you does not have your best interests at heart, they are trying to manipulate you through your own insecurities. It is sad that some children don't have the support they need to be able to ignore such intimidation. Other than that, I thought you brought up valid points.

Posted by JustMe, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 10, 2012 at 10:14 am

I would encourage the courts to consider the costs of catching these guys when they sentance them. Giving them instant or easy parole or suspended sentances will just be putting them back in buisness and will require another huge time and money expense to catch them again. I believe anyone caught dealing in meth should get a VERY heavy sentance because the drug is so horrid. I do NOT want these guys back on the street in their lifetimes.

Da realist needs to get real.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 10, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Soypolicia, no. I thought what you did at first, but after reading a number of reports, if we can trust their veracity, they state 900 agents - that's not evidence techs, clerks, secretaries, judges, attorneys, etc. - that's agents.

I'm well aware that a sweep of this scope involves those in multiple areas of law enforcement. But from the numerous news sources, it looks like it was approx 900 executing 30 warrants, so there were approx. 30 agents at each location, which is understandable of a big bust. But they only recovered 100k. I know they can't ignore these organizations, either. But I also know that the PR machines behind these busts are designed to maximize the congratulatory feelings from the public & each other in order to justify the cost of these operations. As happy as I am about these losers getting caught, I know that they're generally quickly replaced.

Posted by Alan, a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 10, 2012 at 2:30 pm

I saw that the main arrest was off Camilla on another news site. There was a similar major arrest, two years ago, same gang, same STREET. I'm glad they're arrested, but it does make one think ....

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 10, 2012 at 2:52 pm

It'd be nice to be able to measure this sweep in terms of how it impacts the city/county/state, singly & in multiples. I'm very glad on the local level that these thugs were caught, it's just that we hear enough of these arrests to want to know if it's a drop or splash in the bucket.

Posted by JustMe, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 10, 2012 at 3:30 pm

"As happy as I am about these losers getting caught"

I would not refer to these people as "losers". They probably were not "losing" until they were caught, and there are undoubtedly many more like them out there still not "losing". I also believe the term "loser", even if accurate, would be way too mild a term. These people are highly destructive parasites that peddle their wares to our youth, destroying lives and families for their own profit. They produce nothing of benefit to society, and they deprive us of the good that their "victims" might have done. I have no remorse or compassion for these people. The only regret I have is that they have been able to work their evil this long.

Sorry Hmmm, but these people constitute one of my hot-buttons.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 10, 2012 at 7:09 pm

I call them losers because they are. It doesn't matter if you agree or not. A loser is someone, imo, losing at life & that was these guys. It doesn't matter if they made money or how many toys they had. What matters is how they lived their lives, & obviously, they got caught, so they lose, they go to jail; hence, losers.

I wonder how much the SEC has spent, & will spend, on the case that just led to the arrest of a local.

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Feb 10, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Today 15 tons of methamphetamine were seized in Mexico, 15 tons!

This poison was headed for the USA to be distributed by these 27 thugs.

Major dealers of toxic poisonous drugs should face the death penalty.

Posted by trig, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 11, 2012 at 4:03 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by G TOWN, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 11, 2012 at 11:48 pm

PAYING TAXES FOR NOTHING.Be slow to speak and quick to listen and remember a wise person knows nothing.

Posted by JustMe, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 13, 2012 at 9:05 am

"Major dealers of toxic poisonous drugs should face the death penalty."

Sharon, at first impulse I am inclined to agree with you. The animal side of me also feels that anyone caught with any drugs, regardless of ammount, should be simply forced to ingest them on the spot.

However, the more logical side of me tells met that we need to terminate the death penalty in this country. Having it puts us on an infirm diplomatic standing with other countries. The death penalty is also simply economically impractical too, the only winners are the lawyers who retry and appeal and get well paid. There are also mistakes in convictions that have been made in our imperfect system (though I don't know of any other system I would trust more, I think we are doomed to imperfection.)

I would be very happy with converting all death-row inmates to lifers without parole and telling the armies of lawyers we pay to find other employment. Then, when some dictator starts murdering his people and we object, he cannot say "Well, you have the death penalty too."

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