SAN DIEGO — Local law enforcement agencies on Monday announced the results of a long-running operation in the Mountain View community where they allege constant criminal activity was run out of a liquor store, Mike’s Market on Ocean View Boulevard.
San Diego police say over the past two years they received more than a thousand calls of crime in the area, with three homicides in the last year.
Warrants were served and arrests were made last week.
“A long-term investigation identifying 27 people responsible for crimes ranging from attempted murder, gun charges, robbery and narcotics sales. A grand jury recently returned indictments totaling 221 felonies on those 27 subjects. Three of those defendants were already in custody. 17 more were arrested and we are currently searching for the remaining seven suspects who remain at-large,” San Diego Police Department Chief David Nisleit said.
Investigators say store clerks worked hand-in-hand with gang members, making drug deals and taking advantage of people with food insecurity.
“This business was not a neighborhood grocery store at all. Instead, it was a place where employees were committing massive fraud, stealing nearly $2 million in food assistance benefits for themselves — money meant to help food insecure residents,” Deputy District Attorney Robert Hickey said.
Authorities say the operation focused on ridding the neighborhood of a “crime den.”
“We have more work to do in the neighborhood, but it will be made infinitely easier because these people are off the streets,” San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said.