people with alleged ties to two rival street gangs engaged in a bloody years-long war in Riverside were arrested today in an operation aimed at taking down the gangs' leadership."Operation Promise," a coordinated federal, state and local law enforcement sweep, targeted the Eastside Riva and the 1200 Blocc Crips, leading to the arrests of 50 people, the seizure of 28 guns and two pet rattlesnakes, authorities said."This unprecedented operation is part of my ongoing promise to bring hope and restoration to the people of Riverside," said Riverside County District Attorney Rod Pacheco, who made the announcement during a news briefing at the Regency Tower in downtown Riverside.Pacheco. was joined by representatives from the various law enforcement agencies that participated in the sweep, including the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, the Riverside Police Department, FBI, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement.
A total of 650 law enforcement personnel served warrants on the residences of about 100 suspected gang members during the operation, authorities said.
"The damage we did was to the leadership of the gangs," said Pacheco.
"We were going after the top folks."
In addition to Riverside, suspects' homes in Beaumont, Mead Valley, Moreno Valley, Nuevo, Perris and Rubidoux were raided, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Pacheco said the sweep was the culmination of 14 months' work by the District Attorney's Office and the other agencies involved, with the goal of having "as large an impact as possible, in as many ways as possible."
The district attorney described the all-Hispanic Eastside Riva, numbering about 800, as Riverside's oldest and "most violent" street gang, at war with the 1200 Blocc Crips, an all-black gang numbering around 200, since the early 1990s.
Pacheco said the two sides have caused numerous casualties, including the deaths of innocent people, some of them children. Both gangs are into narcotics trafficking, he said. The Eastside Riva's drug trade is largely managed by the Mexican Mafia from prison, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
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