Hemet “Zero Tolerance” operation nets 200+ arrests

SAN JACINTO VALLEY — More than 200 suspected criminals were arrested when deputies from the Hemet Sheriff’s Station were joined by their fellow law enforcement partners from all over Riverside County to conduct a “Zero Tolerance” enforcement operation Friday, Sept. 27.

Friday’s day-long “saturation patrol” involved more than 200 law enforcement officers and other officials from more than a dozen different agencies who swept through the cities of Hemet, San Jacinto, and the unincorporated surrounding areas within the San Jacinto valley.

Registered sex offenders who failed to comply, parole and probation violators, and anyone who had active warrants for their arrest were targets of officials participating in the operation, according to a social media release from the Sheriff’s Department.


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In addition to more than 200 people arrested for various criminal violations and outstanding warrants – including 35 people arrested for felony crimes – the operation resulted in the seizure of more than 49 grams of methamphetamine, six grams of PCP, one gram of heroin, one weapon, and $15,000 in currency.

More than 200 officers and officials from more than a dozen allied law enforcement agencies and special teams joined Hemet Sheriff’s Station deputies for Friday’s huge enforcement operation. Hemet Sheriff’s Station photo

“The focus of the operation was to apprehend any and all subjects found to be in violation of any crime,” Riverside Sheriff’s Sgt. James Burton reported after the operation.

“The goal of the operation is that the arrests of these offenders improves the overall quality of life for the citizens of the cities of Hemet, San Jacinto, and the unincorporated area of Hemet,” Burton explained.

“The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department’s goal is to keep all of our citizens safe while also improving quality of life,” the Sgt. continued. “The use of illegal drugs not only affect the individual, but also the community as illegal drug use is the root cause of many of the crimes that affect our county.”

Friday’s highly successful operation began early that morning at a massive staging and control center where a makeshift mobile booking and processing area were established at the Hemet Sheriff’s Station in Valle Vista. Several mobile command center RV’s along with several sheriff’s transportation vans and bus were brought to the staging area to assist officials with the day-long enforcement operation.

Once the massive enforcement operation was underway, Hemet Station sheriff’s deputies were joined by more than 200 officials from Hemet, Murrieta, Banning, and Beaumont Police Departments, along with California Highway Patrol, Riverside County District Attorney’s SAFE Team, California Department of Corrections Parole Agents, Riverside County Probation, Riverside County Animal Control, Riverside County Code Enforcement, and Cal Fire Arson Investigators, who fanned out throughout the area and began making arrests.

American Medical Response medics were also on hand for the large-scale operation, and were ready to assist with any medical needs to arise throughout the day.

As people were arrested throughout the day and evening, they were brought to a large-scale mobile processing area, before many were transported to area jails to be booked. Hemet Sheriff’s Station photos

Within thirty minutes of the operation’s start the mobile booking and processing center began to fill with suspects arrested during traffic stops, pedestrian checks, residential probation and parole compliance checks, and other contacts with officials.

As the operation continued throughout the day and into the evening, a steady stream of arrestees were brought to the staging and command center where they were processed and then transported to area jails, which had brought on extra staff to help deal with the huge influx of arrestees being booked.

Even Riverside Sheriff’s Captain Leonard Purvis, Commander of the Hemet Sheriff’s Station got in on the action and was seen arresting and processing suspected criminals arrested during the operation.

Riverside Sheriff’s Captain Leonard Purvis, Commander of the Hemet Sheriff’s Station, is seen escorting an arrestee to be processed at a massive command and control center established outside the Hemet Sheriff’s Station in Valle Vista during Friday’s day-long “Zero Tolerance” saturation patrol and enforcement operation. Hemet Sheriff’s Station photo

As word of the enforcement operation spread, many area residents took to social media – with hundreds leaving comments of thanks and appreciation for the “hard work and dedication” of the area’s law enforcement officers.

“Thank you so much,” Howard B. Rosenthal commented on one of the department’s social media posts about the operation. “We are so thankful to have Sheriff Chad Bianco and our local 3rd district unincorporated Sheriff Captain Leonard Purvis as we are Chief Rob Webb in the city of Hemet and a renewed energy and commitment to clean up and make sure the scum know they should not be comfortable being here.”

“Thank you RSO. This has been sorely needed for YEARS,” former Hemet resident Mary Ann Morris wrote in response to the operation. “Looks like RSO is staging its own War on Crime!! Many thanks to you!!”

“Wow!!! I’m glad you all were kept safe!” wrote area resident Gil-Rachaelle Calderon. “We appreciate every single one (of our officers) that is serving our communities to keep us safe. Time to get this nation behind our officers.”

Hemet resident Sharron Savage was also one of hundreds who commented after the operation, writing, “Thank you for making our communities a little safer than they were yesterday.”

If you suspect drug activity in your area, please contact your local Sheriff’s Station or law enforcement agency. The Hemet Sheriff’s Station can be reached at (951) 791-3400 and the San Jacinto Sheriff’s Station can be reached at (951) 766-2400.

Click any image to open full-size gallery.

Hemet Sheriff’s Station photos above

Will Whelan/Hemet Valley Incidents photos above

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 29 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.