Law enforcement make 56 arrests in Hemet, San Jacinto gang sweep

HEMET, Calif. (KABC) -- An early-morning law enforcement gang sweep resulted in about 56 people being arrested, with most facing very serious crimes.

The raids happened around 6 a.m. Thursday.

Authorities said while the gang members are used to selling drugs and weapons on the streets for a living, they're not going to have to get used to what it's like behind bars.

"This will not end today. We will continue to go after individuals in this community," Hemet police Chief Rob Webb said.

Webb said most of the arrests happened in his city, although some were made in nearby San Jacinto.

The operation was called Valley Vigilance 2 - the sequel to a similar operation that happened last summer and was also out in Hemet.

Over the last couple of years, more than 160 people have been arrested as part of the operation.

"There's no way to gauge how many crimes are avoided by having these weapons taken from the hands of these criminals," Webb said.

The sweep was spearheaded by the Riverside County Gang Impact Team, organized by Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin.

"The citizens of this county are demanding that their criminal laws be enforced. They're demanding, I think rightly so, that law enforcement establish, and in some cases re-establish, the rule of law in every part of this county," he said.

Authorities stress that the operation is not over yet.

Over the span of the entire operation, which is nearly two years, as many as 120 guns were seized and 11 pounds of meth.
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