Gang members arrested in sweep
Shirley Hawkins | 7/30/2008, 5 p.m.
After an eight-month investigation, federal and local law enforcement announced Friday that they have arrested 38 reputed gang members and associates suspected of selling guns and drugs.
The gang "takedowns" occurred over consecutive days in Baldwin Village, according to U. S. Attorney's Office spokesman Thom Mrozek.
The first operation targeted drug and firearms trafficking by the Black P-Stone Bloods and the Rollin' 20s Bloods.
Officers arrested 25 defendants Wednesday on various state, federal and immigration offenses. The operation also netted two firearms, drugs and cash, said Mrozek.
The second operation targeted various Crips factions believed responsible for selling large numbers of firearms across South Los Angeles. The investigation culminated with the arrests of 13 suspects, most of whom are facing federal charges.
"During the investigation, an undercover operative bought assault rifles like AK-47s and M-16s--weapons of war that have no place in the hands of criminal gangsters," U. S. Attorney Thomas O'Brien said in a statement.
"The 119 firearms we have removed from the streets are 119 firearms that will not result in another child being shot, that will not be used to terrorize neighborhoods and that will not result in gang members outgunning the police tasked with patrolling these neighborhoods."
Both the Baldwin Village and the South Los Angeles cases are the result of investigations conducted by the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Los Angeles Police Department.