Deputies arrested 17 people in connection with a narcotics investigation in El Cajon Friday. NBC 7's Omari Fleming tells about the surprising discovery deputies made as well.
Deputies arrested 17 people in connection with a narcotics investigation in El Cajon Friday, including a suspect accused of supplying methamphetamine to transients in exchange for stolen property, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department confirmed.
The drug bust happened around 6:30 a.m. when law enforcement officials served a search warrant at a house in the 1200-block of Peach Avenue.
Detectives had been investigating the resident of the home, 41-year-old Peter Dann, who’s suspected of supplying meth to transients in the Santee riverbed in exchange for stolen goods.
"There was no stolen property. No, that's all false," said Susan Dmochowski, who was arrested in the raid. "They wasted a lot of taxpayers' money on what they did, coming in here like that. I mean, it was like an army."
Dann was arrested at the home and booked into San Diego Central Jail on various charges, including sales of methamphetamine, possession of psilocybin, possession of marijuana and the manufacturing of concentrated cannabis, or honey oil. He’s scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.
The search warrant also yielded the arrests of 16 other adults inside the home who were taken into custody for a slew of charges ranging from being under the influence of a controlled substance and drug possession to arrest warrants, officials said.
"They took us all down for under the influence," said Dmochowski.
A teenager was in the home at the time of the bust. Child Protective Services took the teen into protective custody, while the teen’s mother was arrested for child endangerment.
The girl's father, Tim Fish, maintained his daughter wasn't in danger.
"She wasn't in the [suspect's] house. She was in the house behind the house, where they're straight and clean," said Fish.
Inside the home, deputies and detectives discovered and seized unspecified quantities of meth, pot and psilocybin. Items related to drug distribution and manufacturing of concentrated cannabis were also seized at the scene, according to officials.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said the residence was in such poor condition, an official from El Cajon Code Enforcement was called to the scene to inspect the home and determine if it’s in compliance with city codes or if it falls under the guidelines of an abatement process.
The investigation into Dann and the other adults arrested in this bust is ongoing. Anyone with information on this case should contact the sheriff’s department non-emergency line at (858) 565-5200 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.
This drug bust comes days after county health officials and leaders released figures in San Diego’s annual “Meth Report Card.”
Though no longer considered the “meth capital of the U.S.,” local officials made it clear this week that methamphetamine continues to be a major problem locally, with a 55 percent increase in meth-related deaths in the county since 2008.