8 People Arrested for Price Gouging During Coronavirus State of Emergency

San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies have arrested eight people in the North County on charges of violating price gouging laws during a state of emergency because of the coronavirus.

A news release from the Sheriff’s Department says deputies monitored multiple online websites and applications involved in peer-to-peer merchandise sales and identified a large number of persons selling hygiene products, cleaning supplies/solutions, and personal protective equipment at exorbitant prices.

These parties intended to maximize financial gain during the emergency with merchandise being offered for sale upward of 20 times its regular retail price.

Operating in a plain-clothes capacity, deputies arranged to meet and purchase the excessively priced goods. After the transaction was completed, deputies placed the seller under arrest for being in violation of section 396(a) of the California Penal Code. California Law prohibits excessive and unjustified increases in prices for essential consumer goods and services during a declared emergency.

A violation of this section is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for a period not exceeding one year, or by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.

Here is a list of the 8 people who were arrested during the operation. They were cited and released.

Dale Gottschalk (10/27/1966) - unincorporated El Cajon

David Gold (04/21/1966) - Escondido

David Noriani (06/21/1984) – San Diego

Tony Dai Ta (05/08/1966) - Poway

Chasity Lynn Long-Ross (12/12/1974) – San Marcos

Richard McCake Simpson (02/11/1973) – Vista

Spencer Ryan Silva (08/11/1993) – Escondido

Eric Marc Duran (06/20/1961) – Rainbow

The San Diego Sheriff’s Department says that during this pandemic, scammers are trying to take advantage of the misinformation and fear surrounding the public health crisis. Be aware of the COVID-19 scams circulating across the country. That includes door to door scammers offering fake decontamination or coronavirus testing services.Scammers also are urging people to invest in new stocks related to the disease.

(Photo provided by San Diego Sheriff's Department)

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