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South Valley Gang Operation nets Dozens of Arrests

A huge gang operation nets almost forty arrests across the south valley.
A huge gang operation nets almost forty arrests across the south valley.
It's part of a five month investigation and dozens of officers from federal and local agencies took part.

Lemor Abrams is live at the Kings County Jail with more on the arrests.

Weapons ranging from assault rifles to swords... Body armor... Narcotics including 20 pounds of meth, marijuana, heroine, and wads of cash...was laid out before officers from various agencies at a news conference Wednesday.

Officers served sixteen search warrants in the last month, resulting in more than 35 arrest from Kings to Tulare counties.

"Over a few months we could see that the trend was going the
direction we didn't want to see in our community," said Kings County Sheriff Dave Robinson.

Authorities from local agencies and from the Department of Justice outlined why they went after these specific suspects.
We took Louis Rodriguez a Northerner on an attempted murder charge," said Avenal Police Chief Jack Amoroso.

Officers say they where targeting members of the Nortenos criminal street gang; they say it's one of the most violent gangs in this part of the valley.

"We have noticed some spike specifically drop outs being targeted by northerners getting out of prison and trying to retake turf," said Chief Amoroso.

Over the last few days, 17 suspects were arrested in Hanford, but Hanford Chief Carlos Mestas says, the job here isn't done.

"We have leads on other crimes...and what comes next is the prosecution," said Chief Mestas.

The alleged gang members face federal and state charges including money laundering and drug trafficking.

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