Crime & Justice

Sweeping gang raid in Anaheim brings 33 arrests

Photo by Dave Conner via Flickr Creative Commons

Anaheim police and federal agents capped a year-long investigation into a street gang by making arrests Friday and seizing drugs and weapons.

Anaheim police said the East Side Anaheim gang was the target.

The gang was operating in the same neighborhood where two Latino men, both alleged gang members, were killed by Anaheim police.

Sergeant Bob Dunn with the Anaheim Police Department said 54 locations were raided in the city and in Los Angeles County.

He said 33 people were arrested as part of the yearlong operation called Operation Halo.

Dunn said another 25 people were already in custody and he expects about 20 more arrests.

“There are some subjects of [Friday's] investigation that we were attempting to arrest that did not locate, so there will be additional efforts made to apprehend those people who are now wanted," said Dunn.

He said some of the raids were in the Latino neighborhood known as Anna Drive, where Manuel Diaz was shot and killed by Anaheim police on July 21. Diaz was unarmed.

Another man, Joel Acevedo, was killed the next day by police, who say he fired at them.

Anaheim Police Chief John Welter said the raids were not related to the recent shootings.

Welter said police considered holding off on the raids, so people wouldn’t get the wrong impression.

Investigators say the gang is suspected of murder and dealing drugs.

Over the past year, Dunn said they’ve seized crystal meth and 40 guns, including assault-style rifles and sawed-off shotguns.

Recent FBI statistics show violent crime in Anaheim increased 10 percent last year, when the number of murders nearly doubled.