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Interdiction team arrests alleged longtime E.C. street drug dealer

April 12, 2002|By MARIO RENTERIA

Staff Writer

The Imperial Valley Street Interdiction Team arrested a 30-year-old El Centro man who agents allege is a longtime street drug dealer.

A press release from SIT states Steven Vasquez was arrested Thursday morning for a felony no-bail drug warrant and for being in possession of illegal drug paraphernalia.

SIT agents, along with the police officers from El Centro and a canine unit from the U.S. Border Patrol, served an arrest warrant and conducted a probation search at the home of Vasquez in the 200 block of East Olive Street.

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Agents also arrested Luis Rivera, 20, of El Centro during the operation for possession of illegal drug syringes. He was cited and released at the scene. Rivera was found in a small shed just south of Vasquez's residence.

The operation "was in response to numerous citizen complaints by El Centro residents that Vasquez was a longtime street drug dealer in the neighborhood," said SIT Commander Tony Lain

"Residents also complained that Vasquez was a street gang member and other street gang members used Vasquez's home as a haven for their illegal activities."

The SIT unit is a multi-agency task force that specifically focuses on targeting career criminals, violent gang members, drug probationers and parole violators involved in street-level drug dealing and other drug-related crimes in the Imperial Valley.

To contact the SIT unit with information regarding illegal drug activity call 339-6333. Callers can remain anonymous and cash rewards are available.

>>Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 337-3441.

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