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Drug bust leads to recovery of stolen car

Menlo Park police spot car during Operation Phallen Gardens

Amid the chaos of helping to execute more than 30 search warrants, a local police officer spotted a stolen car on Tuesday (Feb. 7).

The Menlo Park officer recovered a gray 2000 Acura ATL, reported stolen out of San Mateo, in the 1200 block of Madera Avenue shortly before 6 a.m., according to police reports.

In addition to a stolen car and 26 arrests, the U.S. Attorney's office said the multi-agency task force confiscated $100,000 in cash, nine guns, and "a significant amount of drugs" during Operation Phallen Gardens, a two-year investigation into drug dealers and gangs based in East Palo Alto and Menlo Park.

The operation is not quite over; law enforcement is still pursuing six fugitives.

FBI spokeswoman Julianne Sohn corrected a report yesterday that 27 had been arrested -- Jesus Segura, 31, is not yet in custody.

Menlo Park police have recovered 157 stolen vehicles during the past three years -- 28 taken from Menlo Park, and 129 reported stolen from other jurisdictions, according to spokeswoman Nicole Acker.

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