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158 probationers re-arrested in DISARM sweeps

Posted: September 27, 2012 6:22 p.m.
Updated: September 27, 2012 6:22 p.m.

At least 158 people on probation have been arrested, 62 firearms seized and more than $1.56 million in illegal drugs and drug money confiscated following a countywide dragnet of people on probation, Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich announced Thursday.

In August, law enforcement officers assigned to the DISARM program — Developing Increased Safety through Arms Reduction Management — carried out 1,280 searches of probationers who, as a condition of their probation, were subject to unannounced searches targeting guns, drugs and other contraband.

“This is the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to public safety,” said Antonovich spokesman Tony Bell.

“This is about confiscating guns from the criminals most likely to have the propensity to use guns in the commission of a crime.”

Antonovich launched the DISARM program in 1999 following the shootings at the North Valley Jewish Community Center that year and the murder of a postal worker by Buford Furrow, an armed felon on probation from Washington state.

Since the program began in February 2000, more than 8,770 weapons and more than $384 million in illegal drugs and drug money have been seized, and at least 17,700 arrests have been made.

“Probationers make the mistake of thinking that the county doesn’t have the time or the resources to carry out unannounced searches,” Bell said.

“They’re wrong, dead wrong,” he said.

“They learn they’re dead wrong when they get that knock on the door at 6 in the morning. Knock. knock. knock. It’s the Sheriff’s Department.”

Nearly 10 percent of probationers searched as a result of the program have been found to be out of compliance with the terms of their probation, Bell said.




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