Riverside Police Crack Down on Drug Trade with “Operation Street Sweeper’



“Operation Street Sweeper” targeted drug-related activities along the Magnolia Avenue corridor in Riverside, Southern California. Law enforcement agencies conducted this major drug bust over a three-week period, resulting in numerous arrests and significant disruption to the local drug trade.

The operation responded to escalating criminal activities and frequent complaints from community members and businesses. These concerns, centered around safety and well-being, prompted a coordinated effort by the Riverside Police Department and nearby agencies to tackle the increasing drug-related issues effectively.

Operation Details

The execution involved meticulous planning and precise action. Initially, law enforcement conducted extensive surveillance over a three-week period. This phase focused on identifying patterns and participants in illegal drug transactions along the targeted corridor. Officers discreetly observed and gathered evidence on 46 individuals engaging in the purchase of various illegal narcotics, including methamphetamine, fentanyl, cocaine, PCP, and Psilocybin mushrooms.

Following the surveillance phase, a concentrated three-day operation took place, where law enforcement moved to apprehend the suspects. This decisive action led to the identification of 44 drug dealers operating within the area. Out of these, 33 individuals were arrested on charges related to narcotics sales, effectively disrupting a significant portion of the local drug trafficking network.

Arrests and Charges

The arrests made during the operation were varied, addressing both direct and ancillary criminal activities:

  • Narcotics Sales: The primary focus of the arrests, with 33 individuals taken into custody for engaging in the sale of narcotics. These arrests targeted those directly involved in the drug trade, aiming to cut off supply lines and reduce the availability of illegal substances in the area.
  • Misdemeanor Charges and Outstanding Warrants: In addition to narcotics sales, the operation also led to 32 arrests for various misdemeanors including trespassing, public intoxication, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Moreover, 21 individuals were apprehended on outstanding misdemeanor warrants for offenses such as shoplifting, petty theft, and illegal possession of controlled substances.
  • Probation Violations: The operation further enforced law compliance through the arrest of 15 individuals for violations of parole, probation, and post-release community supervision. These arrests ensure that individuals previously involved in the criminal justice system adhere to their legal obligations and conditions.
  • Specific Incidents: Notably, during a probation search at a local motel, law enforcement discovered a woman wanted for a 2022 felony drunk-driving crash that critically injured two women and a child. Additionally, a man found in the same room was arrested for burglary and possession of stolen merchandise valued at several thousand dollars.

Impact of the Operation

“Operation Street Sweeper” significantly reduced emergency calls and police interventions in the Magnolia Avenue area immediately after the arrests. Law enforcement’s removal of key drug traffickers led to this notable decrease in drug-related incidents, enhancing public safety and community well-being.

Riverside Police Chief Larry V. Gonzalez emphasized the ongoing nature of the efforts, stating, “This wasn’t a one-and-done operation, and our enforcement efforts will continue until our community members, businesses, and visitors feel a constant sense of safety in Riverside.” His commitment reflects the department’s dedication to sustaining safety improvements and addressing community concerns long-term.

Future Initiatives and Community Involvement

The Riverside Police Department plans to maintain its stringent enforcement against drug trafficking and other crimes that affect community safety. Chief Gonzalez highlighted the intention to continue targeted enforcement actions and proactive policing strategies to deter criminal activities.

Moreover, the department encourages community members to actively participate in safety efforts by reporting illegal drug activities. Residents can contact the Riverside police directly with tips and information, which helps in crafting a collaborative approach to maintaining public order and safety. This ongoing interaction between the police and the community aims to foster a secure environment conducive to positive community relations and trust.

“Operation Street Sweeper” resulted in the arrest of 104 individuals, addressing a wide range of offenses from narcotics sales to probation violations. The operation significantly disrupted local drug trafficking networks, as evidenced by the types of drugs confiscated and the volume of criminal activity curtailed.


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