EL CAJON, Calif. (KGTV) — The City of El Cajon is sounding the alarm after several people using San Diego County’s motel voucher program were found to have extensive criminal histories.
According to the city, Eugene Brown, 59, and Catherine Sweetser, 53, were arrested at one of the motels in El Cajon using the county’s motel vouchers. When police searched their room, officers found methamphetamine, fentanyl, heroin, drug scales, and drug packaging materials.
According to authorities, Brown had a felony arrest warrant for drug sales while Sweetser had a felony arrest warrant for child endangerment and felony DUI.
At another motel, Louis Bono, 54, was arrested using a county voucher. “Bono’s room contained a large amount of methamphetamine, drug scales, and drug packaging materials,” the city said. He was arrested for possession of drugs for sale and, at the time of his arrest, was on bail for drug sales the previous month.
“A few weeks later, Bono was again arrested for possession of dangerous drugs using the County’s motel voucher program at yet another motel in El Cajon,” the city added. Bono was arrested a third time for narcotic sales in August, again using the voucher program, according to the city.
Also in August, the city said Efren Sartuche, 35, was arrested due to a felony warrant for firearms-related offenses. He was staying in El Cajon using the same program, the city added.
“The number of criminal drug dealers and fugitives using the County’s motel voucher program is disturbing,” Police Chief Mike Moulton said, “Community safety is my primary concern and the El Cajon Police Department is more than willing to assist the County with better ways of vetting those utilizing their program, if that’s what’s needed.”