Nineteen people were arrested and another 63 were cited for not paying their fares in a crackdown at two trolley stops, deputies said Saturday.
Sheriff‘s deputies teamed with officers from the Metropolitan Transit System to patrol the Lemon Grove Depot and Massachusetts Avenue trolley stations from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, Sgt. Mike Krugh said.
The sweep was at least the third since July in the ongoing “Operation Lemon Drop” along the MTS Orange Line trolley, which runs from Downtown San Diego through Lemon Grove to El Cajon.
During the check, deputies and officers made 1,253 contacts to determine trolley fare compliance, which resulted in about 40 probation and other searches, Krugh said. Deputies and officers made six felony arrests, 13 misdemeanor arrests and issued 63 trolley citations.
“The goal was to identify and contact prolific offenders and their associates,” Krugh said.
Many of those arrested “fell into a category of realigned offenders,” Krugh said, or were previously convicted non-violent offenders who were shifted from being supervised by the state into the responsibility of local law enforcement agencies as a way to cut costs and reduce overcrowding at state prisons.
In two previously reported sweeps as part of “Operation Lemon Drop,” deputies and other law enforcement officers made 65 arrests — including 26 felony arrests — and caught nine probation violators.
Last week, police conducted a similar sweep at the Iris Avenue Trolley Station near San Ysidro along the MTS Blue Line. Known as the Stonegarden Southern Trolley Operation, the sweep was a joint venture between six law enforcement agencies, including the San Diego Sheriff’s Department and U.S. Border Patrol. Officers arrested 29 people with outstanding warrants, probation violations, or possession of controlled substances, and cited 213 more for transit violations.
—City News Service contributed to this report
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