Dozens arrested in North County drug sweep

'Operation Tip the Scale' targeted 160 people

OCEANSIDE, Calif. - Dozens of alleged parole and probation violators were back behind bars Thursday following a widespread sweep in the North County.

More than 200 law enforcement officers from 15 different agencies scoured the streets of Oceanside and Vista throughout the day and into the night Wednesday to check on about 160 parolees and probationers.

"Operation Tip the Scale" targeted about 160 people who were now living in Vista and Oceanside.

David Munoz was arrested in Vista on suspicion of possession of marijuana.

"I am a medical marijuana patient and I guess it's a violation of my probation," he said.

Munoz went on to tell 10News that he was on probation in the first place for distribution of marijuana.

"But now I don't distribute," he said. "I'm a medical patient."

Munoz will now have to explain that to a judge. He was one of 32 people arrested in the first four hours of the sting. By nightfall, dozens more were taken into custody.

Before they were taken to jail, they were offered drug counseling. Nearly all accepted it.

"When people are being arrested, I think we are at a very critical moment when we can have a sit-down conversation in regards to treatment," said Francisco Medrano, a drug counselor who is with the county.

Studies show for every dollar spent on treatment, more than $7 is saved in criminal justice costs.

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