SAN PEDRO, Calif. (KABC) – Hundreds of police and federal agents launched a major crackdown on drugs and gangs across Southern California on Thursday morning.
Authorities said dozens of raids were conducted throughout the night in Los Angeles and Riverside counties. It was an early morning wake-up call that suspected gang members won’t forget.
Agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ATF and the LAPD fanned out to make the arrests.
“The network is all the way from supply in Mexico … right to the street gang members who are distributing drugs on the street, both crack cocaine and methamphetamine,” said Claude Arnold of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Dozens were arrested, most without incident. Along with the drugs, they also confiscated a large number of weapons.
“Weapons are an issue, as they always are with gangs and drug distribution. It’s one of their tools of the trade,” Arnold said.
Authorities believe the raids will cripple the gangs ability to distribute drugs in the region. While there are still suspects outstanding, authorities are not ruling out more early morning wake-up calls.
Officials said Thursday’s operation can be traced back to an investigation of cocaine dealers in the South Bay from several years ago.