U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
District of Nebraska
District of Nebraska
For Immediate Release
October 24, 2013
Deborah R. Gilg, United States Attorney
Contact: Jan Sharp, Criminal Chief
Twelve Additional Gang Members and Associates Charged on Firearm and Drug Charges
Omaha, Neb. — The United States’ Attorney’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Omaha Police Department announced today that 12 additional defendants have been charged with federal crimes including firearms trafficking, illegal firearm possession and drug trafficking offenses.
Over 30 law enforcement officers and agents executed arrest warrants Thursday and Friday. The arrests are the second wave in a joint initiative targeting gang violence in Omaha. The first series of arrests occurred on September 26, 2013. In January, ATF and the Omaha Police Department began a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program (HIDTA) sponsored violent crime task force in response to the firearms and gang-related violence in Omaha.
The investigation targeted gang members and gang associates. These new 12 defendants have a total of 69 arrests, 21 felony convictions and 31 misdemeanor convictions. During the investigation resulting in both the September and October indictments, investigators seized or purchased 62 firearms, more than 1 ½ pounds of marijuana and approximately 310 grams of crack cocaine.
’Our efforts will not cease until the plague of gangs, guns and violence is eradicated from our community,’ said U.S. Attorney Deborah R. Gilg.
’This latest round of indictments is a further demonstration of our message that gang violence in Omaha will no longer be tolerated,’ said ATF Special Agent in Charge Gregory K. Gant. ’ATF and our partners are committed to a sustained aggressive effort to investigate those who act without regard for this community. We hope these continued efforts send the message that those involved in violence will be brought to justice.’
As of Friday afternoon, eight defendants were in custody. The defendants not currently in custody are considered fugitives and are being sought by law enforcement. The identities of these four fugitives are currently not being released because of ongoing investigation logistics.
’It was no secret that Phase Two of Operation Wipe It Down would be coming. The second phase of Operation Wipe it Down is another statement by law enforcement that gang and gun violence will not be tolerated in our community,’ said Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer.
Many of the defendants face mandatory–minimum prison terms of five years, depending on the specific charges and individual criminal histories, and maximum penalties of 40 years to life imprisonment.
The federal defendants will be prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office.
n indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.