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San Pedro gang sweep leads to 80 arrests

April 28, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Eighty people are under arrest following a massive gang sweep involving local police and federal agents.

The sweep began at 2 a.m. Thursday and was called Operation Pirate Town. More than 1,300 law enforcement officers from several different agencies arrested members or associates with the gang known as Rancho San Pedro.

Authorites said that they are the largest and most dangerous longstanding gang in the San Pedro area, terrorizing neighborhoods for over 40 years.

"This is not the first and certainly will not be the last in the series of large-scale takedowns of the core members, the founding fathers so to speak, of criminal street gangs in Los Angeles," said Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck.

"Today RSP is done," said L.A. District Attorney Carmen Trutanich. "There will be no RSP in San Pedro. Our lawyers will make sure that if they try to caper again, we'll come back and they will be gone."

The LAPD, ICE, ATF, DEA, Secret Service, and several other agencies worked together on Operation Pirate Town. It was the culmination of two and a half years of investigation of the gang and their involvement in large-scale firearms and drug-trafficking operations.

The L.A. County District Attorney's Office will prosecute approximately 145 defendants, with their arraignments beginning as early as Friday.