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Riverside gang sweep nets 30 suspects

March 17, 2010 12:15:45 AM PDT
In the Inland Empire, dozens of motorcycle gang members are under arrest. Well before dawn, dozens of local and federal agents launched a major sweep in California and several other western states.The sweep was called Operation Everywhere. The target is the largest motorcycle gang in the state of California. They are called the Vagos. The gang sweep began around 7:00 a.m. Wednesday and it spread all across four states in the western part of the United States.

In Riverside County, 73 locations were targeted by 400 officers. Of the more than 100 Vagos members in the county the officers hit 94 of them on Wednesday, making 30 arrests. Illegal drugs and several weapons were seized including a motorcycle gas cap with a long blade attached.

The operation was coordinated by the Riverside County Gang Taskforce which has been the target of booby traps in recent months. On New Year's Eve members of the Hemet and San Jacinto Valley Gang Task Force discovered a rerouted gas line at their office which investigators said could have leveled the building if ignited. The Vagos have a history of violence against law enforcement so district attorney Rod Pacheco was asked on Wednesday if the Vagos were connected to that Hemet case.

"Within the last few months, the Vagos Outlaw Motorcycle gang has gotten our significant attention," said Pacheco. "Today we've delivered and returned some of that significant attention and we intend to continue in that effort. There's over a hundred them here in Riverside County and their time has come. We will not go quietly into that good night. We will respond aggressively and forcefully for a significant period of time until that threat has been eliminated, not reduced or minimized, but eliminated."

The district attorney wanted to make it clear that this is only the beginning. The sweep also included cities in Nevada and Utah and Arizona.