Mono narcoticS officers report the arrest of 25 people after a two-month long operation into the sales of narcotics and counterfeit identification.
Starting in October, the Mono Narcotic Enforcement Team ran a series of undercover operations, sting operations, and covert surveillance in Mammoth. Officers with the Highway Patrol, Inyo Narcotics Enforcement Team, and the Mammoth Police also helped out with this operation.
The investigation continues, but so far officers have served 10 search warrants and arrested 25 people.
A fake check fraud scheme was used to lure one group of suspects into obtaining counterfeit resident alien cards, drivers’ licenses, and social security cards. After telling the individuals that they would be cut in on a portion of the supposed ill gotten gains, the undercover agents gave the suspects photos to use. The suspects came back with the counterfeit identification and were arrested, according to Mono Sheriff Lt. Robert Weber.
Posing as buyers, officers report making dozens of controlled drug buys as well. Some of the narcotic seizures were large. Mono Narcotics agents say that they seized a half a pound of cocaine, and approximately three quarters of a pound of methamphetamine.
A large variety of prescription narcotics was seized as well as syringes, vehicles, money, and firearms. Officers also report that while serving some of the search warrants, they also found stolen property, which was turned over to the Mammoth Lakes Police Department for further investigation.
Lt. Weber reports that a good portion, of the 25 arrested have a questionable status with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but there were US citizens arrested, some of whom have lived in the area for a long time.
Officers say that, although significant arrests were made, investigations are still on-going.