The raids, which involved helicopters and canine units, occurred at 50 locations in the cities of Madera, Los Banos, Livingston, Merced, Atwater and Dos Palos as part of the Operation Red Zone crackdown, Harris said.
It was aimed at "ruthless" and "lethal" gang leaders associated with Nuestra Familia, which was started at Folsom State Prison in 1968 and continues to be run out of the state prison system, Harris said. Nuestra Familia controls most of the Nortenos street gangs in Central California and has ties to Mexican drug cartels, according to law enforcement officials.
Growing gang violence in the Central Valley has threatened small farm communities and spawned efforts to keep young people from being recruited.
"Their conduct was terrorizing this community," Harris said at a news conference with other law enforcement officials in Los Banos, "and by extension, their conduct was bleeding through the whole state of California."
Agents from 16 local, state and federal agencies seized more than a dozen firearms, including five assault rifles; methamphetamine; marijuana plants; crack cocaine; and more than $64,000 in cash in the sweeps, authorities said.
Law enforcement officials conceded that the arrests may provoke rival gangs to expand and noted that such sweeps in the past have driven the violence from one community to another.
The operation began in August 2010 when state law enforcement officials discovered that members of Nuestra Familia, largely driven out of Salinas in earlier sweeps, had set up shop in Madera, Merced and other Central Valley cities.
Four in 10 homicides in California are gang-related, Harris said. Those cases also account for 80% of the state's effort to relocate witnesses whose lives are in danger because of their cooperation with law enforcement, she said.
The sweeps this week brought the total number of arrests in the operation to 101 and stemmed from surveillance by the attorney general's Fresno Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, which tracked the daily movements of suspected gang leaders, Harris said. Among those arrested were two senior Nuestra Familia regiment commanders, she said.
Why do Americans still protect the illegals??
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/bloggers/1738432/posts FBI Crime Statistics - Crimes committed by illegals.
The Illegal-Alien Crime Wave
Heather Mac Donald
Some of the most violent criminals at large today are illegal aliens. Yet in cities where the crime these aliens commit is highest, the police cannot use the most obvious tool to apprehend them: their immigration status. In Los Angeles, for example, dozens of members of a ruthless Salvadoran prison gang have sneaked back into town after having been deported for such crimes as murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and drug trafficking. Police officers know who they are and know that their mere presence in the country is a felony. Yet should a cop arrest an illegal gangbanger for felonious reentry, it is he who will be treated as a criminal, for violating the LAPD’s rule against enforcing immigration law.
The LAPD’s ban on immigration enforcement mirrors bans in immigrant-saturated cities around the country, from New York and Chicago to San Diego, Austin, and Houston. These “sanctuary
policies” generally prohibit city employees, including the cops, from reporting immigration violations to federal authorities.
SANTA PAULA (CBS) — Eight alleged gang members will be arraigned Tuesday afternoon for several sex crimes after police say they used social media websites to kidnap and rape young girls.