Ninety people were arrested, 92 guns confiscated, and a large quantity of illegal drugs seized in a four-month undercover operation in Oakland, authorities announced this morning.
Scot Thomasson, an acting special agent in charge for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said a multi-agency effort called “Operation Gideon III” targeted “the worst of the worst offenders” who authorities believe are responsible for most of the gun-related violence in Oakland.
Speaking at a news conference at the federal building in Oakland, Thomasson said the people who were arrested generally engaged in drug robberies and money stashes but also “had no regard for the lives of others and all too often are esponsible for the deaths of innocent bystanders.”
“We believe we have removed some of the most violent criminal offenders from the streets of Oakland,” Thomasson said.
U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag said the operation resulted in the seizure of about 4 kilograms of methamphetamine, 3 kilograms of marijuana, 1 kilogram of heroin and a half-kilogram of crack cocaine.
Haag said 60 of the people arrested face federal charges such as conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute narcotics, attempting to interfere with interstate commerce through robbery, unlawful dealing in firearms and assaulting federal agents.
Alameda County Chief Assistant District Attorney Kevin Dunleavy said the other 30 people arrested will face state charges for illegal possession of drugs and guns as well as probation violations.
Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan said the arrests have resulted in a significant drop in homicides in his city over the past month.
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said the arrests “have given a breather to the people in our neighborhoods” and that she hopes this will “change the pattern of violence for a long time.”
Congresswoman Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, said she hopes the operation, which follows up on similar operations in Phoenix and San Diego, will help “eradicate the flow of illegal firearms in Oakland.”
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