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Twenty-two arrested in gang raid

9/23/2011, 8:10 a.m.

LOS ANGELES, Calif.--Twenty-two people were in custody today after hundreds of investigators raided 32 locations in seven Southland cities in a multi-agency operation targeting rival Compton gang members, authorities said.

The raids, involving more than 300 members of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department, were carried out early Thursday by investigators assigned to the department's Operations Safe Streets Bureau, said sheriff's Lt. Richard Westin.

They were backed up by police officers from South Gate, Inglewood, Gardena, Whittier and Anaheim, he said.

The detectives and deputies conducting the raids served search and arrest warrants arising from investigations into gang-related murders, shootings and assaults "stemming from a bitter feud between rival gangs," Westin said.

"Deputies also seized an assortment of handguns, rifles and shotguns which were illegally possessed by ex-felons, found to be stolen or were suspected guns used to commit crimes," he said.

Additionally, they confiscated gang-related paraphernalia and evidence of gang membership, all of which will be used to seek gang-related sentencing enhancements, Westin said.

Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services took into custody three children who were at locations raided Thursday, according to Westin.

Although the gangs being investigated are based in Compton, the warrants were served in Lancaster, Hawthorne, Lynwood, Long Beach, Los Angeles and Anaheim, Westin said.

"Seventeen males, three females and two juvenile suspects were arrested," he said. Their names were not immediately released.