6 arrested in yearlong high school drug sting face judge - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

6 arrested in yearlong high school drug sting face judge

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A half-dozen defendants accused of selling marijuana, heroin and other drugs to undercover sheriff's deputies posing as students at or near three North County high schools pleaded not guilty Wednesday to felony charges, including selling and possession for sale of narcotics.

Johny Nguyen, 18, Philip Silva, 25, Ramon Kelly, 45, Edwin Sanchez, 19, Skylor McGee, 20, and Erik Johnson, 18, face between four and six years in state prison if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney Jorge del Portillo.

During a yearlong probe -- dubbed "Operation `A' Team" -- youthful deputies posing as students at Abraxas, Mission Hills, Poway and Ramona high schools were able to buy narcotics at the latter three campuses, according to sheriff's officials. The types of illicit substances purchased included heroin, cocaine, marijuana, oxycodone and hydrocodone.

As a result of the investigation, deputies and agents with the Narcotics Task Force and North County Regional Gang Task Force served 19 arrest warrants on Tuesday -- nine for current and former students at the four schools, and 10 to adults who allegedly sold drugs to the plainclothes personnel, del Portillo said.

"The goal of the operation was to identify who's selling what drugs and how available these drugs are to students, and I think the goal was accomplished in that respect," the prosecutor said outside court.

In addition to disrupting narcotics sales at the campuses, the investigation "provided intelligence on larger drug suppliers in the area," Sheriff Bill Gore said Tuesday.

"The San Diego County Sheriff's Department and NTF are pursuing these leads and will continue the investigation," he said. "The take-away from today is this -- if you want to buy illegal drugs, you very well could be talking to a deputy sheriff."

In addition to the six adults arraigned Wednesday, seven others will be arraigned at a later date. Six minors will be charged in Juvenile Court.

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