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26 Gangsters Arrested in 2 Weeks

A countywide crime sweep yielded 43 arrests, including 26 of people with gang affiliations.

"Operation Take Back," an anti-violence effort in Santa Cruz County, netted 43 arrests over a two-week span, authorities said.

In response to a wave of violent crime in the region, the Santa Cruz County Law Enforcement Chiefs Association authorized the operation on Feb. 21, calling on local police agencies to supplement the Santa Cruz County Gang Task Force.

The operation was set to launch on Feb. 27, and despite the fatal shooting of two Santa Cruz police officers on Feb. 26, the operation was launched as scheduled, gang task force officials said.

Personnel conducting Operation Take Back included police officers from Watsonville, Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley and Capitola, and members of the Santa Cruz County Anti-Crime Team, Santa Cruz Probation Department, and the California Highway Patrol.

Of the 43 arrests made during the 14-day operation, 27 were for felonies and 16 for misdemeanors, according to the gang task force. Twelve of those arrested were on parole, and 26 had gang associations.

Eight of the arrests were of juveniles, all with gang associations, task force officials said.

Three of the juveniles were arrested in connection with the recent stabbing murder of 20-year-old Felipe Reyes in Watsonville.

Another juvenile and an adult with gang affiliations were arrested while attempting to flee the scene of a violent gang assault of a non-gang-involved victim on Feb. 28 in front of a Valero gas station in Watsonville, according to the task force.

Over the course of the operation, officers seized 10 weapons — three firearms, five illegal knives and two blunt weapons.

Six search warrants were served, including three in relation to the Reyes murder and one that resulted in the seizure of two guns and the arrest of a drug trafficker according to task force officials.

Copyright © 2013 by Bay City News, Inc. Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

jenifer ringel March 22, 2013 at 03:55 PM
Awesome Start! Let's keep the pace. I want to love my town again! Thank you very much. I truly appreciate it.
Carolina March 22, 2013 at 09:49 PM
Same here. Awesome! Keep the good work. Let's get rid of them. Thank you so so so much for taking care of us. We all appreciate it. I can't say enough..... Bravo!
Wire March 23, 2013 at 12:44 AM
Fourteen are juveniles, OMG, where is the single parent? They will be back on the street soon.
Wire March 25, 2013 at 02:41 PM
jenifer ringel 8:55 am on Friday, March 22, 2013 Awesome Start! Let's keep the pace. I want to love my town again! Thank you very much. I truly appreciate it. Now how many arrested non-minors were just released from over crowed prisons system by Brown, or does the PATCH just copies liberal new print?

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