MONTEBELLO (CBSLA.com) — A joint investigation targeting criminal street gangs in more than a dozen separate locations in the East Los Angeles area resulted in several arrests, authorities said Wednesday.
“Operation Sudden Impact” is part of a two-year joint investigation by the Montebello Police Department and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) involving six “cold case” murders that led law enforcement to the Southside Montebello criminal street gang and their local rivals, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
KNX 1070’s Pete Demetriou reports authorities made 10 arrests at 19 separate locations, bringing a total of 38 people connected to the notorious street gang now in custody.
“These are gang members that have terrorized this community and the surrounding community for many years,” Montebello Police Chief Kevin McClure said.
The 10 defendants named in federal indictments and criminal charges filed in Los Angeles Superior Court were taken into custody Wednesday by law enforcement authorities, in addition to six defendants charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office in murder cases solved during the investigation.
Undercover law enforcement officers and confidential informants infiltrated the Southside Montebello gang and obtained evidence of the gang’s alleged crimes, including murders and methamphetamine distribution, authorities said.
Law enforcement officers said they observed approximately 20 controlled purchases of methamphetamine and sales of fully automatic firearms, which led to law enforcement seizing nearly one pound of methamphetamine that allegedly was purchased from members and associates of the gang who are now charged in federal court.
ATF Special Agent Christian Hoffman told KCAL9’s Kara Finnstrom the street gang has also been linked to additional crimes.
“We started uncovering layers of different criminal activities, everything from burglaries, home invasion-style robberies to trafficking in narcotics and trafficking in illegal firearms,” Hoffman said.
In addition to Wednesday’s raids, authorities are still seeking three fugitives who have been charged in state court.