By: Nelson Kramer
Local News Editor
Los Angeles law enforcement arrested 27 suspected gang members on Oct. 2. The suspects were alleged to have been running narcotics and firearms all over the state. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) made these arrests after multiple months of investigating cartels and gangs. California’s attorney general, Rob Bonta, praised local law enforcement after they arrested the 27 suspects. During these arrests, law enforcement seized pounds of drugs including methamphetamine, cocaine, heroine, and fentanyl.
The arrests are a result of a multiagency effort titled Operation Safe Harbor, consisting of the Los Angeles Police Department, the California Highway Patrol, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, and the Tulare and Kern County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA). These sections of law enforcement work together to get these dangerous materials and people off the streets as soon as possible.
Attorney General Bonta explained, “Operation Safe Harbor sends a strong message to organized criminal enterprises across California that you cannot stand up to the power of good law enforcement work.” The contraband seized is extremely dangerous, including fentanyl, a deceivingly potent drug that is causing a high number of overdoses, or ghost guns, which are made to deceive law enforcement by not having a serial number. In a statement, Bonta went on to say, “Families in Los Angeles can go to bed knowing they’re that much safer, breathe a little easier, sleep a little more relaxed … this is good law enforcement at its finest.”
The investigation started in June, with the first arrests resulting from seven search warrants. Law enforcement seized 14 firearms, 4,000 dollars, and two stolen vehicles. “The investigation uncovered additional arms of the criminal enterprise, resulting in additional arrests and investigations in communities throughout California, including in Tulare and Kern Counties,” according to Bonta’s office. The LAPD referred the suspects to the LA County District Attorney’s Office and they face potential felony charges including transportation and possession of controlled substances and possession of firearms.
These arrests brought some peace of mind to local community members affected by street gangs and cartels. Unfortunately, they do not eliminate gang behavior in the area, as the Office of Justice Programs says that there are currently 450 street gangs in Los Angeles containing over 36,000 active members.
(Sources: ABC7, Brady United, CNN, The Office of Justice Programs, OAG.Gov)
Categories: Local News