Huge drug, weapons seizure in latest street gang crackdown

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Law enforcement officials said this week they have
dismantled a drug and gun trafficking ring that involved members of 13
different gangs and resulted in what is believed to be the biggest single-day
weapons seizure in San Diego County.

A coalition of local, state and federal agents arrested more than three
dozen people, most with gang affiliations or membership, and seized 60 weapons
at the culmination of a two-year investigation dubbed “Crystal Palace.” The
number includes 33 guns found during raids of homes and storage facilities in
Spring Valley, Lomita Village and Mira Mesa on Oct. 2, authorities said.

The takedown is the latest in a series of large-scale multi-agency
crackdowns on street gang activity in San Diego County neighborhoods. In
addition to the “Crystal Palace” indictments, 119 defendants have been
charged in various federal gang prosecutions since January, with 79 guilty
pleas so far.

“These are neighborhoods and streets where children play and walk to
school, parents push their strollers and citizens of every age seek to live
peacefully and enjoy their families,” said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy. “We
will not allow our neighborhoods to become headquarters for gun-toting gang
members.”

Those arrested in connection with “Crystal Palace” include gang
members from Linda Vista, Spring Valley, Mira Mesa, Logan Heights, Lomita
Village, Chula Vista, National City and elsewhere. They are accused of
trafficking in guns plus methamphetamine, heroin, ecstasy, marijuana and
cocaine, according to grand jury indictments and search warrant affidavits
unsealed today.

Among the guns found during the latest raids were numerous assault
rifles, including Uzi submachine guns; AR-15 magazine-fed, semiautomatic
rifles; antique shotguns and high-powered rifles and silencers.

Categories: KUSI