Authorities conduct massive gang sweep in Santa Paula

Leo Stallworth Image
Friday, April 17, 2015

SANTA PAULA, Calif. (KABC) -- A surge of violence in Santa Paula spurred authorities to conduct one of the largest gang sweeps in the city's history on Thursday.

Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies raided more than 30 homes. Nearly a dozen known gang members were arrested for parole violations and other crimes, Santa Paula Police Chief Steve McLean said.

"Today, we sent a message: zero-tolerance for gang-bangers period. One gang banger in Santa Paula is one too many," McLean said.

McLean keeps a picture of 21-year-old murder victim Ashley Moran in his desk drawer. Moran was stabbed to death last year and her body was found in Obregon Park. A suspected gang member was arrested for her death.

"She was murdered and she was pregnant," McLean said.

Moran was among nine murders in Santa Paula in the last two years.

"If I was a gang member, I would look over my shoulder and I'd sleep with one eye open, because it's a matter of time before our SWAT team shows up in your living room. We're not going to tolerate it anymore. We're done," McLean said.