OAKLAND . (AP) — At least 18 suspects affiliated with a notorious street gang were arrested Friday during a series of early morning raids in Oakland, state and local authorities said.
The pre-dawn sweeps began about 5 a.m. at more than a dozen locations across the city involving alleged members of the Case Gang, which has been involved in some of the city's most violent crimes, Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan told reporters at a news conference.
More than 160 agents from the Department of Justice, the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Drug Enforcement Administration assisted police with the arrests and served two-dozen search warrants in the city and surrounding areas.
The multiagency raids were part of Oakland police's ongoing Operation Ceasefire, a joint anti-crime and anti-violence initiative that resurfaced late last year.
Flanked by several officials, including Attorney General Kamala Harris and U. S. Attorney Melinda Haag, Jordan said they took successful steps in dismantling the gang, adding that it was probably one of the more violent factions he's seen in his near three-decades in law enforcement.
"We fulfilled a promise today that I made to the public back in October and that is we will use every legal means possible to identify those who are involved in a violent crime and to bring them to justice," Jordan said. "Today, we kept our promise."
Jordan said the Case Gang feuded with a rival gang, the Money Team — which police say has also faced a similar fate in terms of arrests — not for traditional motives such as money or turf, but out of pure hatred.
Harris said the Case Gang in particular had been "roaming the streets of Oakland terrorizing good and hard-working people." Those arrested on Friday will likely face charges for attempted murder, robbery and violent home invasions, she added.
Lt. Tony Jones said the gang was an offshoot of another violent group, the Nut Case Gang, which went on a violent spree in the early 2000s. Jones said police and allies were able to prevent the Case Gang from killing a rival gang member, recently.
Deputy Chief Eric Breshears said that several firearms, including an assault rifle, were also seized during the multiagency raids.