LANCASTER – Gang Detectives from the Sheriff’s Department’s Operation Safe Streets unit, along with deputies from the Lancaster Station’s Burglary Suppression Team early [Wednesday] morning descended on the Trading Post Pawn Shop located on Sierra Hwy in Lancaster, and a duplex directly behind the shop in the 500 block of Oldfield Street after obtaining information over the past couple of months that employees of the shop were taking in stolen property and dealing drugs.
OSS Detectives and the Burglary Suppression Team investigators during their investigation received information from several sources that the manager and an employee at the Trading Post were taking in stolen property, including firearms, and trading the property for drugs.
Surveillance was conducted at the location and enough evidence was gathered, and a search warrant was obtained for the Trading Post Pawn Shop, and two duplexes behind the location where it was learned that the involved employees were living.
Due to information received that numerous firearms were at the location, the Sheriff’s Department Special Enforcement Bureau, “SWAT”, Team, assisted in the service of the warrant for the safety of the public. After the locations were secured, eight persons were detained during the subsequent investigation.
At one of the duplexes behind the pawn shop where the shop’s manager was living, approximately four pounds of Marijuana was seized, along with a large quantity of Hashish oil, and Methamphetamine.
Also seized were items associated to drugs that indicated the drugs were possessed for the purpose of sales. A large quantity of property believed to be stolen was seized at both duplexes, including televisions, computers, power tools and musical instruments. Four firearms were also seized, including two pistols, a shotgun and a rifle.
During a search of the pawn shop, no stolen property was recovered, and it appears the store employees were taking in stolen property outside the store and dealing their drugs from their homes. The two store employees are convicted felons, and were arrested for possession of stolen property, possession of firearms by a convicted felon, and possession of narcotics for sale.
Two additional persons at the location were also arrested, one for two felony warrants, and one for a probation violation. Suspect names were not released due to an ongoing investigation.
All four suspects are being held at the Lancaster Station jail.
(Information via news release from the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station.)