Agencies team up for gang arrests in SF

October 22, 2008 3:02:50 PM PDT
San Francisco police joined state and federal agencies in major gang-related drug raids in the Bayview Hunters Point area on Wednesday.

People heard loud knocks on the Bayview District early on Wednesday morning. They saw a helicopter and said that it was really scary.

Federal agents say they are targeting the MS-13 Gang, a dangerous gang out of Latin America.

Federal agents are being very quiet about the noisy arrests they made on Wednesday morning in San Francisco's Bayview District.

"I heard a lot of loud booms and I had become kind of desensitized to the gunshots in the neighborhood, so it's not a big deal," said Bayview resident Nicole Vermillion.

The booms were likely flash bangs; a grenade often used by police that produces a flash of light. Some women said the noises startled about five people at the recovery home where they live on Palou Street.

"It sounded like a loud, loud bomb. It got a few of us women out of the house and we got outside and looked," said Bayview resident Tina Notinokey.

"There is a lot of fear in the house like oh my gosh, what's going on, they are getting closer. So we didn't know if they were going to hit our house or what's going to happen," said Vermillion.

Some of the agents had their rifles on, but the arrests were peaceful. One man after another was loaded into unmarked vans and cars. One neighbor of the house on Palou Street said that the house is always full with people.

"The kids are always outside playing, but I don't know them. There are so many you can't tell who lives and who comes and goes," said Bayview resident Marie Swift.

A spokeswoman for ICE said these arrests are part of an ongoing gang investigation. About a dozen federal, state and local law enforcement were involved, and added that more details will be released on Thursday when court documents are unsealed.

The people that live in the neighborhood feel more relieved because gangs were the target.

"I am relieved because there is a lot of drug dealing in the neighborhood," said Vermillion.

There will be a press conference on Thursday morning and they will have more information then about who was arrested, and why.


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