Authorities from across California came together for a widespread crackdown of a “violent criminal street organization” in Los Angeles.
Operation Safe Harbor targeted the unidentified gang, who were said to be responsible for operating a statewide drug and firearm trafficking network, and were also linked to a number of violent crimes.
The sweeping investigation began on June 1, and on Sept. 28, seven search warrants were served at undisclosed locations in Los Angeles County. During that operation, 10 people were arrested on felony charges, 14 guns were recovered, including two ghost guns and one short-barreled rifle, and $4,000 in cash was seized.
That operation also led to the identification of additional tendrils of the criminal enterprise, resulting in more arrests in Kern and Tulare counties.
In total, the law-enforcement operation resulted in 27 arrests, 30 weapons seized, and the recovery of a large cache of illegal drugs that included fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin.
Those arrested have been referred to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office to await possible felony charges for transportation and possession of drugs and conspiracy to commit a crime.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta said these latest arrests are “sending a strong message” to organized crime rings and said statewide partners are making progress in getting dangerous drugs and weapons off of California streets.
“I thank our DOJ agents and law enforcement partners for the hours of work they have put into this case and for their work to make California safer. Tonight, Los Angeles families can live and sleep with greater peace of mind as a result of this investigation.”
While the California DOJ did not specifically identify the street gang associated with this latest operation, Donald Alway, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, said the arrests were made as part of a continued investigation into “Mexican Mafia and cartel-affiliated street gangs which have plagued the Harbor area with violent crime, drugs and illegal guns.”
Bonta says his DOJ continues to prioritize working with local, state and federal partners to take down human trafficking rings, prevent gun violence, combat retail theft, dismantle street gangs and end the fentanyl crisis.