20 arrested in operation targeting Riverside street gang

August 10, 2011 | 3:52pm

Twenty members and associates of a notorious Riverside street gang were arrested Wednesday by more than 200 law enforcement officers as part of a multi-agency investigation into violence and drug trafficking, authorities said.

The operation targeted the 1200 Bloc Crips gang, which has been involved in drug dealing and other crimes in the city for more than 50 years, authorities said.

Agents and officers from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the Riverside Police Department served search and arrest warrants and conducted parole searches at more than 40 locations in and around Riverside. Increased illegal activity by the gang in the last year prompted the six-month investigation that led to the arrests, authorities said.

The operation was a message to street gangs members that "continue to perpetuate a regrettable and dangerous cycle of narcotics sales, murder and retaliation," John A. Torres, special agent in charge of the ATF office in Los Angeles, said in a statement.

Authorities said the reputed gang members and their associates were arrested on suspicion of state and federal firearms violations and on parole violations.

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