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Police, FBI conduct huge gang sweep in S. LA

May 19, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
There has been a major crackdown on a South Los Angeles gang.

Thursday morning more than 900 LAPD officers and FBI agents picked up 41 alleged gang members and associates of the Baldwin Village neighborhood street gang.

"The Black P-Stones have been operating in the Baldwin Village area for decades," said Steve Martinez from the FBI "They have really been a scourge for the South Los Angeles area."

Their joint, yearlong investigation targeted 75 members of the gang. Armed with search and arrest warrants, officers and agents raided a number of houses, apartment buildings and one cellphone business in the area.

According to authorities, they arrested gang members who directed the drug sales in the neighborhood.

"The power that they have tried to distribute in this area will be broken for good," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Riordan. "The time has come for them to wake up, to wise up, or to face the consequences."

Residents who live in the 1-square-mile area of Baldwin Village hope to feel safer after Thursday's raid.

"There's probably a lot of work to be done," said one anonymous resident. "I feel it's not going to be done until this isn't considered a crime-ridden area."

"Wonderful progress," said resident Rose Boston.

Some wonder if the city can afford to increase patrols and add resources to keep tabs on gang activity in the neighborhood, as well as keeping other gangs from taking over.

"We cannot afford no matter how bad the budget gets not to engage," said LAPD Commander Bob Green.

Green said that is where the community comes in to monitor gang activity in the area and throughout the city.

The charges for the gang members arrested carry sentences ranging from 5 years to 40 years to life in federal prison.

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