New Times gets inside look at massive gang drug bust
Reporters from San Luis Obispo’s New Times were on the scene when 100 local law enforcement and FBI agents descended on Paso Robles and served warrants for the arrest of 22 suspects in the early morning hours of Wednesday, Dec. 12 2012.
“The New Times editorial department had been pestering Sheriff Ian Parkinson for months to allow us on a ride-along during a heavy drug bust. For a couple of weeks, we were told something big was about to go down,” the New Times reports.
“Parkinson and his department’s spokesman, Tony Cipolla, couldn’t dish the details beforehand, of course, but we were told the call would be coming—and it might be at 2 in the morning, so we had to be ready.
“About 24 hours before it was to go down, we got the call. With very few facts, two cameras, and a half-used notepad in hand, we trudged out into the cold, misty morning—sans flak jackets.
“Nix informed us that while the Sheriff’s Department was “hosting” this particular operation, the FBI was running the show as the lead agency. And he warned us there might be a few agents who weren’t too pleased that the press would be there.
“He drove us in his unmarked coupe to Templeton High School, where the task force was gathering to brief in the auditorium. Why the high school?
“ ‘It’s the only place big enough to fit us all in,’ Nix said.
“And he was right. The parking lot was filled to capacity with some 100 vehicles, some marked, some not; all sporting state-exempt license plates. We were lucky to find a spot off the street.”
See original story: Come along for a ride with the Sheriff’s Department during a multi-agency operation to deal a blow to a gang-related North County narcotics ring
See original story on the raids in the Paso Robles Daily News.