From the daily archives: Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nearly two-thirds of women (62 percent) and more than half of men (59 percent) arrested and booked into jail for crimes in San Diego County in 2010 tested positive for illicit drugs, such as marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin.


Although meth use is down in the region from a high in 2005, the drug is still easily accessible.


More than three-quarters of juveniles (76 percent) and more than half of adults (57 percent) booked into local jails in 2010 were or had been involved in a gang.


These are some of the findings from a trio of new reports released today by the SANDAG Criminal Justice Research Division. The reports are based on data collected in 2010 as part of the SANDAG Substance Abuse Monitoring (SAM) program. Under this program, people are randomly selected within 48 hours of their arrest and booking into jail for a confidential survey. They are asked questions about their drug use and other behaviors, such as involvement in gangs.


The three reports, which are available online at, are titled: “2010 Adult Arrestee Drug Use in the San Diego Region,” “Methamphetamine Use by Adult and Juvenile Arrestees in 2010,” and “Gang Involvement Among San Diego County Arrestees in 2010.” These annual reports contain a wealth of statistics, including detailed information about why, when, and how offenders use drugs, as well as the quality and quantity of drugs available on the street.


“Based on these reports, it’s clear that substance abuse and gangs remain major challenges in our region,” SANDAG Director of Criminal Justice Research Dr. Cynthia Burke said. “We are seeing gangs diversify into drug trafficking, human trafficking, pimping, and prostitution. Illegal use of prescription drugs is a growing concern, as well as the uptick in heroin use.”


Here are additional highlights from the reports:


  • Marijuana remains the drug of choice among arrestees. Four in five arrestees (81 percent) who tested positive for multiple substances tested positive for marijuana.


  • Crack/cocaine use has shown the greatest decline over the past decade. Six percent of males and 11 percent of females arrested tested positive for the drug in 2010, compared to 15 percent of males and 26 percent of females in 2000.


  • Two in five (40 percent) arrestees reported using prescription drugs illegally, with Oxycontin topping the list of most recently used.


  • While heroin use remains relatively low, its popularity has surged recently, with one in every five arrestees reporting they had tried it and one in every 10 testing positive for it in 2010, higher than any other time since 2000.


  • San Diego County has 170 different gangs consisting of about 7,700 members. A third of gang-involved arrestees admit to engaging in pimping or prostitution.


  • More than half (52 percent) of gang-affiliated arrestees reported having carried a gun and most (78 percent) reported it was easy to obtain.


  • Meth use was down for adult female arrestees in 2010, compared to 2009 (38 percent to 33 percent), but up slightly for men (from 22 percent to 25 percent), as well as for juveniles (from 6 percent to 8 percent).




The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) is the San Diego region’s primary public planning, transportation, and research agency, providing the public forum for regional policy decisions about growth, transportation planning and construction, environmental management, housing, open space, energy, public safety, and binational topics. SANDAG is governed by a Board of Directors composed of mayors, council members, and supervisors from each of the region’s 18 cities and the county government.


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LA MIRADA, CA (11/30/2011)(readMedia)– In October, Shari Walther, was named to Biola University’s Dean’s List for academic excellence last Spring.

Shari Walther, from Imperial, was one of 1,300 students who were named to the Dean’s List for the spring semester of 2011.

Biola students are placed on the Dean’s list to honor those with a grade point average of 3.6 or higher while enrolled in twelve of more credit units and whose cumulative grade point average is at least a 3.2. This past spring, 26% of Biola students achieved this academic goal.

“Inclusion on the Biola Dean’s List is an indication that this student is performing exceptionally well in a rigorous academic program,” Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Patricia Pike said. “Our Dean’s List students are bright, motivated, engaged, competent, and personable. They are already demonstrating the characteristics of success that results from applied intelligence and that will support future endeavors in society, community, career, and family life.”

Biola’s grade point average requirement for the Dean’s list is one of the highest among Southern California Christian Universities.

Biola University, an “Up and Coming” university according to U.S. News & Word Report, is a private Christian university located in Southern California on the border of Los Angeles and Orange counties in the city of La Mirada. For more than 100 years, Biola has remained committed to its biblical foundation, integrating biblical principles with every academic program. U.S. News recognizes Biola as a “National University,” which is considered the “major leagues” of higher education. In addition to its focus on intentional spiritual development and career preparation, Biola offers a unique academic environment where all faculty, staff and students are professing Christians. With the highest enrollment in Biola’s history of 6,250 students, the school offers 145 academic programs in six schools and degrees ranging from B.A. to Ph.D. For more information, visit or call (562) 777 – 4061.

On the web:


Westmorland, Calif. – On Thanksgiving Day, U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Indio station seized a substantial amount of cocaine at the Highway 86 Checkpoint near Westmorland.

Cocaine Seized from 18-Wheeler
Seized Cocaine
Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection

The incident occurred at approximately 12 p.m., after a Border Patrol Canine team alerted to a blue semi-truck as it performed a cursory search of the vehicle. The truck driver was identified as a 44-year-old male Mexican national with valid immigration documents. Agents used a large scale imaging system to scan the vehicle. The scan revealed several anomalies within the vehicle which led to the discovery of 100 sealed packages of cocaine concealed inside a non-factory compartment. The cocaine weighed approximately 260 pounds and was given an estimated street value of more than $8.3 million.

The driver was arrested and turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration along with the vehicle and narcotics

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