Gang task force facilitates drug bust in the valley

Hemet Police Department
42 year-old Hemet resident Jose Briones.
Hemet Police Department
39 year-old San Jacinto resident Steven Miranda

■ Hemet Police Department / Contributed

Last Wednesday, Task Force Officers (TFO) from the Hemet/San Jacinto Valley Gang Task Force conducted a vehicle stop at the intersection of Fairview Avenue and Tiber Street in Hemet for a vehicle code violation and arrested two males suspects on suspicion of possessing and selling drugs.
TFOs apprehended the driver, 42 year-old Hemet resident Jose Briones, who was on formal probation out of Riverside County with search terms. Briones was found to be in possession of nearly one pound of methamphetamine and several non-prescribed pills of Percocet.
With the assistance of the Hemet Police Department Crime Suppression Unit (CSU), Restoring Our Community Strategy (ROCS) Team, and the San Jacinto Police Department Special Enforcement Team (SET), a probation search was conducted at two residences both in the 44000 block of Merced Road within the unincorporated area outside Hemet. Detectives located additional drugs (methamphetamine and marijuana) and paraphernalia consistent with the sale of drugs.
A second subject, 39 year-old San Jacinto resident Steven Miranda, was at one of the residences and was also arrested for suspicion of selling drug. Miranda was also on formal probation. In addition to the one pound of methamphetamine found in the vehicle, an additional 60 grams of methamphetamine, 86 grams of marijuana, numerous rounds of ammunition of different calibers, large-capacity handgun magazines, and a stolen trailer were discovered. The utility trailer was reported stolen to the La Quinta Police Department in February 2018.
Briones was on formal probation for child cruelty. On Feb. 6, he was charged with investigation of probation violations, transportation for sale of methamphetamine, being a felon in possession of ammunition, possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of a controlled substance, and for possession of a large-capacity magazine.
Miranda was on formal probation for possession of ammunition and was charged with investigation of a probation violation, possession of methamphetamine for sale, and possession of marijuana for sale.
The Hemet/San Jacinto Valley Gang Task Force has been in existence since April 2006. The law enforcement agencies within the valley have been working together since this time on a daily basis. The task force is comprised of members from the Hemet Police Department, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, Riverside County Probation Department, California Highway Patrol, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The Hemet/San Jacinto Gang Task Force operates in the cities of Hemet, San Jacinto and the unincorporated areas outside Hemet. The law enforcement leadership within the valley meets regularly and coordinates activities. Since the formation of the task force, leadership reports it has recognized the importance of working together to provide the highest level of service for the citizens within the Hemet and San Jacinto Valley.
This team is one of eight composing the entire Riverside County Regional Gang Task Force, which is a collaborative effort of 25 law enforcement agencies with the goal of combating criminal street gangs.

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