Local News

103 arrested in California gang sweep

Friday, October 14, 2011

More than 100 people are facing charges in a massive gang crackdown. The arrests are the result of 16 months of investigation. Operation Garlic Press started in Gilroy when local authorities asked for help dismantling a gang network. The operation grew to span four counties, from Alameda to Monterey.

In all, 103 people were arrested, many of them career criminals.

"Fifty-three are known gang members, 28 were female, 90 are males and 15 were parolees; 110 have prior criminal histories," Gilroy Police Chief Denise Turner said.

"Fifty-one are known members of the Nortenos street gang, two are affiliated with the Surrenos street gang," Attorney General Kamala Harris said.

Gilroy city officials had noticed a spike in crime and an influx of gang members. The police force of the small farming town was overwhelmed. They asked for help and got an outpouring of support. Twenty-four of the 103 arrests were made in Gilroy.

"It's only through collaboration that we were able to administer the scope and cooperation such as this," First Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Stretch said.

This operation will result so far in 106 criminal cases which involves possession of assault weapons and other illegal guns and ammunition," Harris said.

Operation Garlic Press also had other results. They recovered 87 stolen cars. Officers and agents seized drugs including three pounds of methamphetamines and 44 firearms.

Authorities believe the drug cartels are linked to local street gangs

Turner says the operation has severed some of those tentacles.

"Thirteen cities will directly benefit from taking these 103, up to115 criminals off the street," she said.

Turner also had a message for criminals still on the loose.

"If any of you are gang members or criminals listening, we haven't finished our work, we're going to continue on, we're going to find these people we haven't taken into custody yet."

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crime, santa clara county, santa cruz county, alameda county, gang violence, drugs, local news, vic lee
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