News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 15, 2006

San Diego Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney’s Office Work with DEA to Dismantle Drug Dealing Organization

DEA agents execute search warrant at suspect's residence during the investigation.
DEA agents execute search warrant at suspect's residence during the investigation.

FEB 15 --Historically, the Syndo Mob has been a violent criminal gang, affiliated with the nationally known Bloods, operating in South East San Diego and other areas of San Diego County since the 1980s. In 1988 six (6) members of the Syndo Mob were arrested for the murder of San Diego Police Officer Jerry Hartless. One major source of income for the Syndo Mob has been from dealing drugs in the communities of San Diego.

In response to the recent criminal activities of this organization, the San Diego Sheriff’s Office (SDSO), the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office (DA), and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s Mobile Enforcement Team (DEA) initiated Operation Southern Strike, a cooperative effort to target the Syndo Mob and its associates.

Today, San Diego Sheriff Bill Kolender, San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis and DEA Special Agent in Charge John S. Fernandes announced that, working with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the 6-month undercover investigation into the Syndo Mob’s criminal activities had been brought to a close.

DEA Special Agent in Charge John S. Fernandes said of the operation, “Gang membership and drug dealing are dead ends. DEA is committed to working hand-in-hand with local authorities to confront drug dealers and gangsters who perpetuate crime and violence in our cities.”

During the course of the operation nine suspects were arrested on charges ranging from narcotics violations and weapons violations to child endangerment. These suspects are alleged gang members, associates, and their drug sources of supply. An additional four suspects were arrested immediately prior to the initiation of Operation Southern Strike, leading to the creation of the team to target the Syndo Mob. Quantities of cocaine (over two kilograms), “ice” methamphetamine (over one kilogram), marijuana (over 20 pounds) and ecstasy (MDMA), as well as cash, weapons, and vehicles were seized.

Of those arrested, two, Ralph BRIGGS and James WOODS, worked as San Diego city employees in the Parks and Recreation Department. Eric GRANT worked as a physical therapy assistant at Grossmont Hospital.

SUSPECTS:

Ralph BRIGGS 43 years old
James WOODS 38 years old
Eric GRANT 40 years old
Steven TURNER 35 years old
Mailand GROFF 32 years old
Rodney JORDAN 46 years old
Elie JONES 44 years old
Sharon BOLDEN 30 years old
Gabriel QUIJADA 26 years old

Point of Contact
Special Agent Misha Piastro
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
(858)616-4166

**NOTE**: B-roll footage and photos available upon request.

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