The primary function of the Special Investigations Team (SIT) is the investigation of narcotic and vice crimes. The Special Investigations Team is the primary undercover and surveillance unit within the El Monte Police Department. The team consists of one supervisor and five detectives. Other members may be added to the team on a case-by-case basis.
As part of their function, the Special Investigations Team writes and serves search warrants, manages informants, and works local and major narcotics investigations with other local, state, and federal agencies such as the Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement (BNE) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
The team also conducts vice enforcement and undercover operations targeting both prostitutes and their clients, also known as “Johns.” Several undercover operations per year are carried out which focus on these individuals. Massage parlors are also investigated to ensure they are in compliance with both local and state ordinances. SIT also investigates crimes involving gambling and illegal slot machines.
The mission of the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is to enforce the controlled substance laws and regulations of the United States and bring to the criminal and civil justice system of the United States, or any other competent jurisdiction, those organizations involved in the growing, manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances appearing in or destined for illicit traffic in the United States.
The El Monte Police Department Special Investigations Team currently has two investigators assigned as part of a DEA High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) group in the greater Los Angeles area.
Some of their duties include but are not limited to:
Investigation and preparation for the prosecution of major violators of controlled substance laws operating at interstate and international levels.
Seizure and forfeiture of assets derived from, traceable to, or intended to be used in drug trafficking.
Coordination and cooperation with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies' drug enforcement efforts.
Due to California’s diverse culture and unique geography, there are many issues that affect the drug situation in California. Drugs such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana are smuggled into the State from Mexico; however, methamphetamine and marijuana are produced and cultivated in large quantities within the State. The Special Investigations Team, in conjunction with the DEA, is working to eradicate these drugs.