OAKLAND— A five-month investigation in which California Department of Justice (DOJ) Special Agents in Special Operation Units (SOUs) teamed up with CHP and Oakland Police Officers has resulted in the takedown of an Oakland area street gang organization, including the arrest of 16 people and the seizure of 36 weapons.
“We are committed to dismantling violent street gangs terrorizing our communities,” said Attorney General Harris. “I want to thank our Department of Justice agents, California Highway Patrol and the Oakland Police Department for their work to keep our communities safe.”
Operation 69th Avenue Village began in November 2014 when the Oakland Police Department requested help investigating two of East Oakland’s violent rival gangs, the 65th Avenue Village Gang and the 69th Avenue Village Gang. Over the past 15 years, these gangs have been involved in violent acts including robberies, home invasions and homicides.
The joint investigation resulted in 22 search warrants. The 16 gang members and associates arrested are charged with criminal conspiracy, gang enhancements, weapons violations, attempted murder, assault, and probation and parole violations.
“Last June, the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) became hugely involved in the effort to get these Special Operations Units, which were cut during the Great Recession, built back up,” said CSLEA President Alan Barcelona. “Our entire lobbying team got involved. I, personally, met with legislative leadership and stressed the critical role in which our DOJ Special Agents have in improving public safety. That effort resulted in more than $9 million to fund two and a half SOUs. That effort is paying off. While I know there is more work to be done, I hope the citizens of Oakland can take a breath as a result of Operation 69th Avenue Village. To our Special Agents who conducted this dangerous work and to the Legislators who recognized the need for funding, thank you.”
Over the past four years, California Department of Justice Special Agents have seized over $200 million in cash, 10,000 kilos of cocaine, 12,000 pounds of methamphetamine, and taken nearly 12,000 illegal guns off the streets in California.