"Operation Wild Turkey" leads to dozens of arrests

EL CENTRO, Calif. - The El Centro Police Department conducted a large scale enforcement detail throughout the city dubbed “Operation Wild Turkey” Wednesday.

Over the course of eight hours ECPD said over 70 law enforcement officers and agents took to the streets of El Centro in an attempt to identify and thwart criminal conduct.  Special focus was placed in the downtown area, Adams Avenue, 4th Street and the Imperial Avenue business loop.  

Officers were also tasked with apprehending individuals with outstanding arrest warrants, addressing vagrancy and quality of life issues, serving search warrants and contacting sex registrants who were not in compliance with their required reporting.  

Additionally, several agencies responded to the shooting in the 300 block of Smoketree Drive to assist our patrol team with the investigation. These efforts culminated in officers contacting 125 individuals, arresting an additional 38 and seizures of marijuana, methamphetamine and heroin.  Criminal charges will be filed with the Imperial County District Attorney’s office on the 38 arrestees.  These charges range from drug violations to arrest warrants and violations of probation and parole.  

Furthermore, officers and agents served five search warrants for narcotics, identity theft and fraud cases. Commander Robert Sawyer stated, “The El Centro Police Department is dedicated to serve the citizens of our community.  Today’s results were made possible through our partnerships within the law enforcement community.  Coordinated efforts such as the one today should put individuals who consider committing a crime in our city or county on notice and serve as a stern warning – We will find you and we will arrest you.”

ECPD said this was made possible through a collaborative effort and with the assistance from the following agencies:  Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, California Highway Patrol, Child Protective Services, Federal Bureau of Investigations, Homeland Security Investigations, Imperial County District Attorney’s Office, Imperial County Probation Department, Imperial County Sheriff Office, the Law Enforcement Coordination Center, United States Border Patrol and the United States Marshal Service.

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