18 arrested, 40 ghost guns and several pounds of illegal drugs seized in Wilmington gang crackdown

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Wednesday, March 1, 2023
18 arrested, drugs and ghost guns seized in Wilmington gang crackdown
Eighteen people were arrested, and more than 80 firearms and several pounds of illegal drugs were seized in an investigation targeting a Wilmington street gang, authorities announced Monday.

WILMINGTON, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Eighteen people were arrested, and more than 80 firearms and several pounds of illegal drugs were seized in an investigation targeting a Wilmington street gang, authorities announced Monday.

"In January of 2020, LAPD Harbor Area Narcotics Enforcement Detail and ATF-Long Beach initiated an investigation into the criminal activities of Eastside Wilmas gang members," an LAPD statement said.

"During the investigation, and with the support of the ATF and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office, several wiretaps were conducted targeting the upper echelon and most active members of the gang," police said

Police say the alleged gang members live in Wilmington and often go to war with West Wilmas gang members.

"That violence will spill out into the community, so that's why this was especially important for us to target this gang because they were indicated in a lot of the violence we see in the Wilmington community," said LAPD Capt. Brent McGuyre.

As a result of the investigation, authorities said they arrested 18 people on a number of gun and drug charges and seized the following:

-- 19 pounds of methamphetamine;

-- 3 kilos of fentanyl;

-- 5,000 fentanyl pills;

-- 5.5 pounds of cocaine;

-- and 82 firearms recovered in total, including 40 "ghost guns" and 20 assault weapons.

More than 40 search warrant were made.

"This is not just an academic exercise of taking guns off the street," L.A. City Council member Tim McOsker said. "This is real impact, real beneficial impact on our communities."

City News Service contributed to this report.