Nearly 90 people were arrested by Authorities in Stockton, California, while also seizing dozens of guns in a massive multi-agency gang take-down targeting violent street gangs and a recent increase in firearm-related activities in the area.
The district attorney of San Joaquin County, Tori Verber Salazar, touted the mission, dubbed “Operation Hybrid Havoc,” as the most successful crime operation that has ever been conducted in the county.
For the past year, this investigation had been going on and picked up steam in the fall. Agents executed 24 search warrants and 19 arrest warrants, over its course, and it has been described as the largest gang bust of its kind in the county’s history.
Salazar said, during a news conference on June 2, that officials arrested 88 alleged gang members on felony charges and confiscated 58 firearms, including 12 “ghost guns,” unregistered firearms often built using a 3D printer.
“We’re proud of the sheer amount of crime prevention that came from this operation. Due to collaborated effort from the agencies, they literally stopped murder from occurring,” said the district attorney.
Officials said that as a result of the investigation, two homicides were also solved, bringing justice to affected families, as well as one attempted homicide and four shootings were prevented, as part of the operation, as reported.
The murder of 31-year-old Mark Scott was one of the homicides included, who was a special education teacher at Pulliam Elementary School and a baseball coach at Edison High School.
In addition, nearly $24,000 in cash was seized by law enforcement officials, and confiscated 959 grams of XTC, 394 grams of cocaine, 98 grams of methamphetamine, 73 grams of heroin, 3.8 pounds of illegal marijuana, and 54 grams of fentanyl, said the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office, in a June 2 news release.
“Every gram, every speck, every pill of fentanyl is as dangerous as a bullet because it can take the life of an individual in a second,” Salazar said.
Stockton’s police chief, Stan McFadden, described some of the individuals that were arrested as “very dangerous people.” He also listed a number of gangs with which those arrested were allegedly affiliated. The “Northside Gangster Crips,” “Muddy Boyz,” “West-Side Bloodz,” and the “Nightingale Bloodz,” were all on that list.
A total of 48 individuals have already been charged as part of the operation, the officials have confirmed. The ages of the suspects range from as old as 60 to as young as just 18.
“This community deserves the opportunity to thrive and flourish, and today the people of San Joaquin County are safer with these organized criminal elements off the streets. Those who commit harm, violence, and jeopardize the safety of this community will be held accountable,” said Salazar.
Kevin Lincoln, who is the Stockton Mayor, celebrated the results of the gang takedown, expressing his gratitude to all the agencies involved, saying: “Enough is enough.”
“We have to protect the residents of this city. We have to protect the future of this city, and that’s our young people, our community. Our children do not deserve to experience what they’ve experienced over the last several months and the long-lasting trauma that lasts as a result of that,” said Lincoln.