PALMDALE – Early Wednesday morning, the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station with assistance from LASD- Special Enforcement Bureau, served a search warrant and conducted several probation searches at apartments in the 38500 block of Larkin Avenue in Palmdale.
Deputies recovered stolen property and narcotics for sales during the searches. The operation also resulted in seven arrests.
Those arrested from the primary search warrant location were:
- Francisco Torrez, 31, for possession of methamphetamine for sales. He is also facing charges for maintaining a place for the sales of drugs, receiving stolen property (an Ipad) and probation violation for possessing live ammunition.
- Terrell Lamar Manning, 32, described by law enforcement at the scene as a “well-known drug runner,” was arrested for being present at a location where illegal substances are used, which is a violation of his probation.
- Jessica Ann Castillo, 24, arrested for being at a location where drugs are used, a violation of her probation.
When deputies conducted a probation search at a secondary location, four more people were arrested, including:
- Rudolph Frank Soto, 46, for possession of methamphetamine for sales.
- Preston Lee Earl Greer, 24, arrested in a garage at Soto’s home for a misdemeanor warrant.
- Antonio Torrez Jr., 24, arrested in a garage at Soto’s home for possession of methamphetamine.
- A 16-year-old juvenile, arrested for possession of methamphetamine in a garage at Soto’s home.
Deputies also found a closed-circuit television monitoring system and a safe in the garage at Soto’s home. Soto claimed ownership of the safe, but said he had lost the keys. When deputies forced open the safe, they found methamphetamine. Later, during a search of Soto, the keys to the safe were located.
The apartments searched Wednesday morning were in Palmdale’s “focus neighborhood.” This area has been identified by both the City of Palmdale and the Sheriff’s Department as a neighborhood needing additional resources to improve the quality of life.
“The result of this operation shows the need for additional law enforcement and City resources to be active and deployed into this neighborhood,” said Lt. Paul Clay of the Palmdale Station’s Partners Against Crime (PAC) and incident commander of the searches.
Recently, residents in the neighborhood were surveyed about quality of life issues. At a Town Hall meeting last week, it was revealed that gangs and drugs were the top two crimes the area residents wanted to see resolved.
Lieutenant Larry Gregg of the Antelope Valley Crime Fighting Initiatives (AVCFI) said of Wednesday’s operation, “This is the first of many operations that will be conducted in this area in order to create a safer neighborhood for all of Palmdale’s residents. Those arrested this morning, I can assure you, do not just conduct their criminal activity along these blocks. They are leaving this area and conducting their criminality throughout Palmdale.”
This operation is not indicative of the residents of the focus area, Gregg added. He said during last week’s town hall meeting he saw concerned citizens who wanted to make a difference in the area’s safety.
Of the seven arrested, five were currently on probation. The department will need to look at probationers and conduct searches to ensure they are complying with their terms and conditions, Gregg said.
The public is encouraged to provide information regarding these or any crimes directly to the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station by calling 661-272-2400. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
(Information via press release from the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station.)