By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — More than 200 people have been arrested in Los Angeles County over the last month due to a crackdown on “underground” parties held in violation of COVID-19 health guidelines.

The sheriff’s department announced Wednesday that there have been 235 arrests made and seven illegal firearms recovered at parties that occurred throughout the county, in areas such as Palmdale, downtown Los Angeles and Compton.

Deputies began targeting these events earlier in December, amid a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Sheriff Villanueva said the raids were meant to “reduce the spread of COVID-19 and the risk to our vulnerable populations.”

“I have made it clear that we will seek out and take law enforcement action against all super-spreader events occurring anywhere within Los Angeles County,” he said in a statement, adding that anyone with information on possible super-spreader events can call their nearest sheriff’s office station.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)