Crackdown on East Bay gang 'super cell' spans three counties, leads to 16 arrests

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- At 6 a.m. Thursday, Oakland Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and other local and federal agencies took down 16 suspected gang members across the East Bay.

Agencies served warrants in Oakland, San Leandro, Hayward, Antioch, Vallejo and Richmond.

Oakland Police Captain Ersie Joyner explained, "These search warrants cover three different counties, six different cities, and we ended up using ten different SWAT teams throughout the region to safety execute search warrants."

Oakland PD said this was a Ceasefire led investigation that began in October 2018. It followed leads after several shooting incidents that occurred in North Oakland.

During the investigation, the unit discovered these individuals were conducting home, auto, and marijuana dispensary burglaries and robberies throughout the Bay Area.

According to police, the suspects were all part of a gang "super cell." Officials explained three separate gangs from North, West and East Oakland formed an alliance.

"These individuals waged war and took out the aggressions on rival gangs throughout our city," Captain Joyner said.

"Some of the charges that these individuals are facing this morning involve conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, robbery, multiple burglaries of weed grows. Lastly, several residential robberies" he explained.

Authorities have monitored these offenses since last October.

"The seven-month operation, prior to today, we already made 24 arrests and recovered 20 guns," Joyner said.

Among other guns, crews recovered illegally modified assault pistols hidden behind a layer of sheetrock, in a wall of an East Oakland home.

Oakland's Police Chief anticipates ballistics testing will match confiscated guns to other crime.

Chief Anne Kirkpatrick explained that had already been the case with a gun collected prior to the raids.

"We have one weapon that we even connected to 17 different events," Chief Kirkpatrick said.

Cameras caught suspects being led away in handcuffs. Kids were also carried out by officers and were released to other family members.

Kirkpatrick said the most disturbing scene was witnessing young children caught in the middle of this major crackdown.

"Anytime the innocent are having to experience police coming into their homes is frightening," she said. "That is always troubling. I think we all have a heart of compassion for that."

ABC7 News reached out to the State's Social Services Department about the kids.

A spokesperson says the state department wasn't involved in the raids. We've also checked with the Alameda County office. This web story will reflect any update provided by the department.

The Oakland Police Department was assisted by SWAT teams from the FBI, U.S. Marshals, San Leandro Police Department, Hayward Police Department, Alameda Police Department, Solano County Sheriff's Office, Richmond Police Department, and Alameda County Sheriff's Office.
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