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At Least 40 Arrested In Massive Inland Empire Parolee Sweep

ONTARIO ( — Hundreds of officers fanned out across the Inland Empire Thursday to make surprise visits to parolees, some of whom were released under the state's plan to ease prison overcrowding.

At least 40 out of 450 probationers were arrested during the massive sweep, which was spearheaded by the San Bernardino County Probation Department and the Ontario Police Department, along with four other agencies.

KCAL9's Tom Wait reported that one man was nabbed while he was smoking meth in his car.

Police said they found hundreds of dollars in cash and drugs on the suspect.

"They pulled up to do a check and in a vehicle wound up being one of our probationers. They found some stuff on him," said Officer Rodney Sermons.

Since prison realignment, or AB 109, took effect at the end of 2011, San Bernardino probation officials said they have actually helped lower the re-arrest rate by more than 40 percent.

Spokesman Chris Condon said it's because of better county resources.

"We have behavioral health, we have workforce development, we have the probation officer that's right there, we have drug treatment opportunities," he said.

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