Eighteen people have been arrested in connection with a gang investigation by a multi-agency task force, authorities said Monday.
The investigation included personnel from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, according to the LAPD.
“In January 2020, the LAPD Harbor Area Narcotics Enforcement Detail and ATF-Long Beach initiated an investigation into the criminal activities of members of the Eastside Wilmas gang,” an LAPD statement read.
In approximately 30-60 days, a specialized gang eradication office within the Sheriff’s Department will come into effect, today Sheriff Robert Luna released the announcement and Carmen Márquez has the details.
“During the investigation, and with the support of the ATF and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, multiple wiretaps were conducted targeting the upper echelon and most active members of the gang,” said the police.
Police say the case involved ongoing gang and narcotics investigations, as well as multiple surveillance and search warrants, gun purchases and narcotics in the Wilmington, San Pedro and Long Beach.
“The investigation has led to multiple arrests beginning in 2020 and culminating in this last week of February 2023,” police said.
“Investigation revealed that he linked the criminal street gang Eastside Wilmas to other gangs in the port area, including the criminal street gangs Westside Wilmas and Rancho San Pedro.”
As a result of the investigation, authorities said they arrested 18 people on various weapons and drug charges and seized the following:
- 19 pounds of methamphetamine;
- 3 kg of fentanyl;
- 5,000 fentanyl tablets;
- 5.5 pounds of cocaine;
- and 82 firearms recovered in total, including 40 “phantom” and 20 assault weapons.
In total, more than 41 search and arrest warrants were written and executed, police said.
“All charges encompass charges of conspiracy, including possession of weapons and narcotics, sale, trafficking and gang-related assaults,” police said.
Authorities are asking anyone with information about the case to call 213-972-2971 or 877-LAPD-247. Tipsters can also call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.
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