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California authorities arrest 86 in crackdown against the Sureños gang in San Bernardino County

July 2, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
California authorities arrest 86 in crackdown against the Sureños gang in San Bernardino County

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The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department announced  the arrests of dozens of gang members and seizures were carried out as part of an effort to crackdown on the Sureños criminal street gang.

The four-month probe dubbed Operation Green Hand, resulted in the arrests of 86 members of the Sureños-linked Westside Verdugo street gang, along with the seizure of 43 guns, 4,800 rounds of ammunition, cocaine, black tar heroin, marijuana, meth and close to $30,000 in cash.

“At this time, of 86 arrests, 28 have been charged,” San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office spokesperson Chris Lee said. “We anticipate more charges to be filed.”

The group, which was formed in the 1950s, was involved in homicides, assaults, firearm trafficking, illegal narcotics, and human trafficking, The San Bernardino Sun reported.

Authorities made over 80 arrests, seized 43 firearms, 4,875 rounds of ammunition, and hundreds of pound of narcotics, according to San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

“I refuse to allow violence to terrorize communities,” State Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced in a written statement. “The San Bernardino community is safer thanks to the work and coordination among law enforcement. These arrests send a message to the individuals who believe they are above the law: You will be held accountable.”

“We formed the task force to attack this street gang,” Sheriff John McMahon stated. “The effort between all agencies was critical to bring this group to justice.”

Detectives targeted the gang hierarchy operating the illegal operations from prison and collected intelligence beneficial to the investigation.

Sureños gang bust

The gang take down resulted in 86 arrests in San Bernardino earlier this week

“Years ago, we declared war on gangs in San Bernardino County with the goal to win battles to keep our community safe,” District Attorney Mike Ramos added.

The Attorney General further attributed numerous gang-related shootings and violent acts to the Sureños criminal street gang and the Mexican Mafia.

Operation Valley Vigilance, a similar investigation in Riverside County, was announced at a news conference on Thursday.

Close to 400 officers from city, county, state and federal agencies raided on 58 locations in Hemet, San Jacinto, and surrounding locations, according to Hemet Police Chief Dave Brown. They arrested 24 people and seized 77 guns with 4 pounds of narcotics.

A few of the 40-plus handguns, rifles, and shotguns seized during Operation Green Hand.

Brown referred to the operation as the largest single-day joint bust in the history of San Jacinto Valley and the history of southwest Riverside County.

Another 23 were arrested during the investigation. Six suspects remain on the lam.

The suspects have been charged with various crimes including those conspiracy to commit robbery and kidnapping, and for firearms and narcotic violation conspiracies.

“These gangs recruit kids from neighborhoods, schools, and communities. They sell drugs, weapons and commit murders to further their organization and instill fear in the community,” McMahon said.

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