LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Eighteen people have been arrested in an anti-gang investigation by a multi-agency task force, authorities said Monday.
The investigation included personnel from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office, according to the LAPD.
"In January of 2020, LAPD Harbor Area Narcotics Enforcement Detail and ATF-Long Beach initiated an investigation into the criminal activities of Eastside Wilmas gang members," an LAPD statement said.
"During the investigation, and with the support of the ATF and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office, several wiretaps were conducted targeting the upper echelon and most active members of the gang," police said.
According to police, the case involved ongoing gang and narcotics investigations, along with multiple surveillance operations and search warrants, firearms and narcotics buys in the Wilmington, San Pedro, and Long Beach areas.
"The investigation led to multiple arrests beginning in 2020 and culminating this last week of February, 2023," police said.
"The investigation was found to connect the Eastside Wilmas criminal street gang to other Harbor Area gangs including Westside Wilmas and Rancho San Pedro criminal street gangs."
As a result of the investigation, authorities said they arrested 18 people on a number of gun and drug charges and seized the following:
-- 19 pounds of methamphetamine;
-- 3 kilos of fentanyl;
-- 5,000 fentanyl pills;
-- 5.5 pounds of cocaine;
-- and 82 firearms recovered in total, including 40 "ghost guns" and 20 assault weapons.
In total, more than 41 search warrants and arrest warrants were authored and executed, police said.
"All charges encompass conspiracy allegations which include weapons and narcotics possession, sales, trafficking and gang-related assaults," police said.
Anyone with information on the case was urged to call 213-972-2971 or 877-LAPD-247. Tipsters may also call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.