Local police and federal law enforcement agents arrested 10 alleged gang members or associates Monday in the Pomona area. KPCC's Brian Watt says the arrests tie into a one-year joint investigation into gang-related drug trafficking.
Brian Watt: The investigation targeted three gangs that allegedly participated in a ring that moved cocaine, crack, and marijuana in Pomona and nearby cities. A 17-count federal indictment accuses 23 defendants. U.S. attorney Thomas O'Brien claimed they include some high-ranking gang members – and one surprising associate:
Thomas O'Brien: One of the defendants named in the indictment, a Los Angeles County probation officer, drove to dope deals with her co-defendant boyfriend, along with a young child in the back seat of their car.
Watt: That co-defendant boyfriend allegedly sold almost one kilo of crack cocaine to undercover agents. Pomona Police Chief Joe Romero said the probe started in one area known in drug circles as an open market called "the Block."
Joe Romero: Somebody's sort of equated it to the movie New Jack City. That it was that brazen, that open. It's primarily composed of apartments, which caused a great deal of problems for my patrol officers, because when they would chase the street drug dealer, there was many of the apartments that were open hiding places for these individuals.
Watt: Romero said affiliates of gangs that might compete in other parts of the Southland work together in Pomona's illegal drug market. Crips, Bloods, Black and Brown unify, he said, to keep business booming.