Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Public Affairs Division – Washington, DC
At The Frontline Against Violent Crime
For Immediate Release
June 30, 2010
Contact: Public Affairs Division
ATF Rounds Up Street Gang Members Nationally
More Than 270 Defendants Arrested for Alleged Acts of Violence
WASHINGTON — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) today announced the culmination of multiple, strategic enforcement operations targeting violent criminals and gang members nationwide. The operations took place in 15 states and involved the arrest and indictment of more than 270 alleged street, prison and motorcycle gang members.
Today, ATF is serving 26 federal arrest warrants in the Miami-Dade and Homestead areas in Florida as part of “Operation Southern Snow.” The alleged local gang members were indicted on various firearms- and drug-related charges and most are multi-convicted felons with violent pasts. At this time, 20 defendants are in custody.
Our communities are safer because of ATF’s expanded efforts to target and dismantle criminal gangs and organized criminal enterprises that use firearms and violent acts to further their illegal gains, said ATF Deputy Director Kenneth Melson.
ATF continues to carry out its mission daily by removing individuals who shatter families and destroy lives to ply their illicit trades. Throughout the month of June, ATF targeted numerous violent offenders across the nation:
- June 29, ATF arrested 31 individuals believed to be members and associates of the “819 Boyz,” a street gang operating in the area of Daytona Beach, Fla. The 18-month, ATF-led investigation resulted in alleged gang members being indicted on numerous federal firearms- and drug-related charges. The investigation included about a 100 undercover transactions that yielded the purchase of 78 firearms, approximately one kilogram of crack cocaine, more than 400 controlled narcotic pills, and body armor.
- June 25, ATF conducted “Operation Ceasefire,” a 10-month investigation into the sale of narcotics and firearms throughout the Waterbury and Naugatuck, Conn., areas by the Crips street gang and the Outlaw motorcycle gang. ATF and local law enforcement served 51 felony arrest warrants for narcotics and firearms violations. Approximately 32 firearms were seized or purchased during ATF undercover operations, many of which had been stolen in local burglaries.
- June 23, ATF and the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department arrested 21 members and associates of the violent street gang, known as the Bloods, in Nashville, Tenn. The indictment included charges of conspiracy to participate in Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO), conspiracy to commit murder, assault, conspiracy to use and carry a firearm during crimes of violence, conspiracy to distribute and possess narcotics. To date, 24 defendants have been taken into custody.
- June 23, an ATF-led task force arrested eight people on federal firearms and narcotics charges in the Aurora and Denver, Colo., areas. The arrests were the second phase of a multi-year investigation named “Operation Cripland.”
- June 23, ATF arrested 18 alleged members of a street gang, known as “Tot Lot Posse,” in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area. Defendants were charged with conspiracy, illegal firearms sales and dealing narcotics, alleging criminal activity dating back to the fall of 2008. Approximately 41 firearms and more than 1,300 grams of crack cocaine were purchased by undercover ATF agents from Tot Lot Posse members.
- June 17, ATF arrested 23 members of the violent local gang “148 Gang” in the Paris, Ky., area. The alleged narcotics trafficking crew was indicted after a two-year investigation on various federal firearms- and drug-related charges.
- June 17, ATF arrested 22 individuals in the Flint, Mich., area, following a three-month, multi-agency law enforcement effort known as the “Flint Initiative for Violent Crime Enforcement Operations” (FIVE-O). Charges included firearms offenses, drug trafficking and witness tampering.
- June 15, ATF’s “Operation Black Diamond” resulted in a 10-state round up of 40 members of the Outlaw motorcycle gang. Among those taken into custody by ATF were the national president and presidents from the Copper, Gray and Red regions. The defendants were charged with participating in a criminal enterprise that engaged in a wide range of crimes, including attempted murder, kidnapping, assault, robbery, extortion, witness intimidation, firearms-related charges and narcotics distribution.
- June 15, the ATF-led Greeley (Colo.) Regional Anti-Gang Enforcement (RAGE) Task Force arrested 16 individuals as part of a two-year criminal investigation into drug distribution and gun possession by gang members and associates in the Greeley area. Seizures during the investigation included methamphetamine, cocaine, crack cocaine, marijuana and 21 firearms, including a SKS rifle and three sawed-off shotguns.
- June 8, ATF arrested 23 members and associates of the Nuestra Familia prison gang, in Fresno, Calif., on firearms-related and drug-trafficking charges.
ATF agents work with other federal, state, and local law enforcement to identify the most violent gang members and target those offenders, using undercover operations, surveillance, wiretaps, and the controlled purchase of guns, explosives and drugs to identify and attack the gang’s hierarchy, added Melson.
All charges are merely allegations and all those accused are presumed innocent until proven guilty. If convicted, defendants face years in prison.
For more information on ATF and its programs go to www.atf.gov.