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Eight arrested in sweep targeting members of local gang

Posted: August 26, 2009 2:43 p.m.
Updated: August 26, 2009 2:43 p.m.
A multi-location search warrant sweep targeting an active and aggressive Santa Clarita Valley-based gang was carried out by more than 150 law enforcement personnel this morning and resulted in eight arrests.

The multi-agency task force included personnel from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department including the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station's Detective Bureau, COBRA Unit, Community Interaction Team (CIT), plus COPS Bureau teams from Compton, East Los Angeles, Palmdale, Lancaster, Temple, Lennox, and Century, the sheriff's Narcotics Bureau, and Operation Safe Street Bureau in partnership with the California State Parole agency, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the county Department of Probation, Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), and the city of Santa Clarita's Code Enforcement department.

All the personnel involved in the operation convened at Santa Clarita City Hall before sunrise for an operational briefing and words of encouragement and support from city of Santa Clarita Mayor Frank Ferry, who took notice of the substantial and impressive number of resources brought together for the operation.

"It's operations like these that protect our youth and keep all the residents of the City of Santa Clarita Safe," Mayor Ferry said. "The city of Santa Clarita will do everything within our power to support our law enforcement missions and keep gangs and drugs off the streets and out of our neighborhoods and schools."

Deputies and COBRA detectives from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station have noticed an increase in the activity of a Santa Clarita Valley gang over the past two years and have been actively investigating it. Officials note that this particular gang has increased its propensity for violence and willingness to engage in aggressive gang tactics and violent criminal gang-related crime and activity not traditionally seen in the SCV. Most of the gang's members live in the Newhall area.

"These gang members were terrorizing and intimidating the local residents and businesses of Newhall," said Captain Anthony La Berge of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station. "Once on our radar, these types of organized criminal enterprises will be targeted for dismantling and arrest within every parameter of the law utilizing all available resources. We will not stop pursuing these active gang members if they choose to continue or engage in this violent criminal lifestyle in our incredible community."

After months of investigation by the city of Santa Clarita/Sheriff's COBRA unit, a search warrant was obtained for 19 locations where these gang members were known to reside.

The personnel made the early morning wake-up call to the active gang members today. The search warrant operation was aimed at recovering evidence used in the commission of the crimes committed by the gang and ridding the area of active gang members who are intent on committing crimes in the community.

The operation culminated in the arrest of eight known gang members. The arrests included a recent assault with a deadly weapon suspect, new charges for possession of narcotics, parole/probation violations and outstanding arrest warrants.

A shotgun, brass knuckles, ammunition, narcotics and gang paraphernalia were also recovered and seized during the search operations.

The city of Santa Clarita's Code Enforcement responded to several of the locations and will be doing follow up investigations for the violations seen.

This operation sent a clear message to this gang that the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is partnering with county, state, city and federal resources and that the Sheriff's Department will not stop its pursuit of anyone actively involved with a criminal gang.

Due to the coordinated gang reduction and enforcement strategy in the Santa Clarita Valley, a number of known active gang members have been put behind bars. As a result of this operation residents should see a substantial reduction in violent gang related crime in the Santa Clarita Valley involving this gang. However, the work is not done and any active gang should expect to draw the direct attention of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station.

The station's COBRA Team is continuing their investigation into this gang and all the arrests made as a result of this operation.


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