Deputies: 8 arrested in California for price-gouging toilet paper, hand sanitizer

San Diego County Sheriff's Department arrested eight people involved in a price-gouging scheme on Wednesday.

Because California declared a state of emergency to combat coronavirus, deputies had been monitoring multiple online websites and apps involving sales of hygiene products, cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment.

The prices for many of these items were outrageous and up to 20 times its regular retail price.


Deputies set up an operation with the suspects to meet up and "purchase" some of the items. Once the transaction was complete, deputies placed the seller under arrest. A total of eight people were arrested during the operation.

California law prohibits price-gouging for consumer goods and services during a declared emergency. A violation of this is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for no more than a year, a fine with a maximum of $10,000, or both.