Fed-supported Oakland operation nets 90 arrests

May 29, 2012 7:39:34 PM PDT
There is a big crime crackdown in Oakland. Police and federal agents have taken nearly 100 guns off the street and arrested dozens of people suspected of violent crimes. It is all part of a four month long undercover operation.

In conducting this operation, Oakland police and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF, say they took the most violent offenders off of Oakland streets.

There were 92 guns seized during a four month effort called "Operation Gideon." It was a collaboration between the federal ATF and Oakland police, one top officials believe have already made the city safer.

"In just under 120 days, Operation Gideon - a collaborative operation between ATF and OPD - resulted in the removal of over 92 firearms off the streets of Oakland," said Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan.

"This group has given the neighborhoods a breather and the community needs to continue to work with us," said Oakland Mayor Jean Quan.

There were 90 arrests in all, 60 face federal charges, 30 state charges. Twin brothers, Christian and Francisco Del Torro are charged with selling guns out of an East Oakland body shop. Police seized 16 of them, including high powered rifles.

"With this amount of guns being sold on the street, I think you can kind of connect the dots as to why we have the number of firearm-related shooting and homicides that we do," said Oakland Police Lt. Tony Jones.

Three of the suspects were arrested in Richmond, including Otis Mobley. Mobley and two other men were allegedly trying to sell a grenade launcher to an undercover ATF agent, but instead according to federal prosecutors they pulled a gun and tried to rob him. Shots were fired in the parking lot of a busy Chevy's restaurant.

Once they go to trial, Mobley and all the suspects nabbed on federal changes face long prison sentences.

"In federal prison, you get 86 percent of the time that you're sentenced to, so on a 10 year sentence, you will do 8 years, 6 months behind bars," said ATF Special Agent in Charge Scot Thomasson.

"Residents in Oakland and throughout this entire region deserve safe and livable neighborhoods," said Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland.

"We are watching, we will find you, we will prosecute you, and you will be removed from the community," said U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag.

In fact, if convicted in federal court, many of these offenders could end up serving prison time out of the Bay Area and out of California. For instance, if they're sent to a federal prison in Minnesota, they would serve their time and then be paroled to that community. They would have to stay there for a number of years after their release.


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