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Raid on Eastside Anaheim gang nets arrests, meth and firearms

The Orange County Register via AP

Authorities display a poster showing persons of interest during a news conference in Anaheim, Calif., Friday to announce Operation Halo.

A yearlong probe into one of Southern California’s most notorious street gangs netted dozens of arrests, 11 pounds of crystal meth and a cache of weapons, authorities said Friday.

The morning raid in Orange County, dubbed Operation Halo, involved more than 100 federal agents and Anaheim police officers. Their mission: Collar 49 people suspected of trafficking narcotics and firearms, said Christian Hoffman, a special agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Los Angeles.


“We took criminals and guns off the streets today,” Hoffman told NBC News. “In addition to that, we also got 11 pounds of methamphetamine, with a street value of well over $1 million. You can say we put a big dent in their drug trade today.”

Of those sought, 33 people were arrested on federal and state charges, while others were already in custody on unrelated charges, according to investigators. At least 11 people were taken into custody on federal narcotics charges, Hoffman said.

Authorities targeted 54 locations in East Anaheim, which is in Orange County, and parts of Los Angeles County, said Sgt. Bob Dunn with the Anaheim police force.

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The firearms recovered during the operation included sawed-off shotguns, assault-style weapons and semi-automatic handguns, investigators said.

The raid follows a summer of gang-related violence and deadly officer-related shootings, including the deaths of two Latino men suspected of gang activity, according to police.

“There has been tension here over the last few weeks,” Dunn told NBC News. “But today's arrests have nothing to do with the shootings; it is only happenstance.”

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