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22 Arrested in Cocaine Raid; Police See L.A. Gang Link

December 09, 1988|LESLIE WOLF | Times Staff Writer

Twenty-two people were arrested in a drug raid at an apartment complex in the 5900 block of Imperial Avenue, San Diego police said Thursday.

About 75 officers served search warrants Wednesday night on five apartments in the complex, which had served as the headquarters for a large rock cocaine-selling operation, said police spokesman Bill Robinson. The raid was the culmination of a two-month investigation, he said.

Among the 20 adults and two teen-agers arrested were four known gang members from the Los Angeles area, according to police Capt. Bob Williams.

"We have identified four people that are definitely affiliated with the Crips," said Williams, adding that he does not believe the others arrested are gang members, but people living in the complex who became involved with the drug dealing.

"Our information was that they were doing a pretty fair business dealing crack cocaine out of that location," he said.

The 22 arrested, about half of whom were women, were booked into County Jail on suspicion of a variety of violations, including possession of drugs, weapons and stolen property and of violating parole, Williams said. The names of those arrested were not available Thursday because they were still being processed, and some had given police false names, Williams said.

Williams said the officers expected hostility from the neighbors during the raid, but were pleased to find support instead.

"A lot of the residents in the other apartments were very glad we were there," he said. "They'd be standing in their windows watching and would give us the thumbs-up as we walked by."

"Later on, some of them told us, 'We're really glad you guys came in here, and you got the right ones,' " Williams said.

"This particular complex had become a haven for narcotics," Robinson said. "The investigation is continuing to determine the link to L.A. street gangs, who are believed to have supplied the cocaine which was being sold."

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