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.


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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