Operation Lemon Drop trolley sweep takes place at two locations in San Diego County

63 people cited; 19 ex-cons arrested

Lemon Grove, CALIF. - Sheriff's deputies teamed with officers from the Metropolitan Transit System to crackdown on cheaters and catch ex-cons at trolley stations in San Diego County.

63 people were cited for cheating without paying trolley fees, and 19 people, many of them ex-cons out on probation were arrested at the Lemon Grove Depot and Massachusetts Avenue trolley stations from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday.

The sweep was at least the third since July in the ongoing "Operation Lemon Drop" along the MTS Orange Line trolley, which runs from Downtown San Diego through Lemon Grove to El Cajon.

During the check, deputies and officers made 1,253 contacts to determine trolley fare compliance, which resulted in about 40 probation and other searches.

Deputies and officers made six felony arrests, 13 misdemeanor arrests and issued 63 trolley citations.

"The goal was to identify and contact prolific offenders and their associates," said Sgt. Mike Krugh.

Krugh said many of those arrested "fell into a category of realigned offenders," or were previously convicted non-violent offenders who were shifted from being supervised by the state into the responsibility of local law enforcement agencies as a way to cut costs and reduce overcrowding at state prisons.

In two previously reported sweeps as part of "Operation Lemon Drop," deputies and other law enforcement officers made 65 arrests -- including 26 felony arrests -- and caught nine probation violators.

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