Two-year investigation nets 26 drug arrests | February 15, 2012 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


News - February 15, 2012

Two-year investigation nets 26 drug arrests

by Sandy Brundage

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

More than 900 police officers executed at least 30 search warrants on Feb. 7, rounding up drugs, guns, money, and cars, according to a press release issued by the FBI.

The two-year investigation, which targeted people suspected of supplying cocaine and methamphetamine to gangs in East Palo Alto and Menlo Park, resulted in 26 arrests.

The FBI said it's searching for six more people in connection with the investigation: Tony Giovanni Joseph, 30; Derrick Lane, 39; Shawn Curtis McKnight, 49; Charles Edward Menifee III, 20; Jesus Segura, 31; and Joey Earl Williams, 48.

All 33 suspects were indicted by a federal grand jury or charged on drug trafficking charges, the agency said.

"This operation resulted in a significant blow against the scourge of gangs, drugs and violence in our communities," East Palo Alto Chief Ronald Davis said in the press release. "As gangs evolve and grow beyond jurisdictional boundaries, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies must collaborate and use our shared resources to effectively disrupt their activities and stem the violence."

Amid the chaos of helping to execute the search warrants, a local police officer spotted a stolen car.

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 suspects, 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."

FBI spokeswoman Julianne Sohn corrected an initial report that 27 had been arrested <0x2016> Mr. Segurais 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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