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Vagos motorcycle gang members arrested in sting

October 6, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Hundreds of law enforcement officers in Southern California carried out raids and arrested members of infamous motorcycle gang the Vagos. The gang is considered a threat to public safety.

During an 18-month operation, authorities seized drugs, paraphernalia and weapons, including handguns and military-grade firearms like assault rifles, a rocket-launcher and an anti-tank weapon.

"These are the tools of the trade of a very dangerous organization, which is essentially a transnational gang, which is really inflicting terror upon all of our citizens," said Kent Shaw, assistant chief of the California Dept. of Justice.

But after what authorities call Operation Simple Green, they hope residents can feel safer.

Not only have there been more than two dozen arrests, but they say all of this stuff will no longer be in their hands.

"We believe that the Vagos motorcycle gang is a threat to public safety, and that as a result of this federal, state and local investigation, the citizens of the state of California are safer today than they were yesterday," said David King, senior special agent with the Calif. Dept. of Justice.

Some of the violence the Vagos are known for was on display a couple weekends ago in Sparks, Nev. Three people were shot and one person was killed in a shootout between the Hells Angels and the Vagos.

San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos says the group has a long history of violence.

"Kidnapping, witness intimidation, murder, rape. These are criminals," said Ramos.

Throughout the operation 25 Vagos members have been arrested, with 12 of them arrested Thursday.

Even with all the arrests and everything that's been confiscated, authorities say there's a long way to go.

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