MURRIETA – Riverside County District Attorney Rod Pacheco Monday touted the success of the three-year-old Gang Task Force, which in 2008 logged 2,129 arrests, most of those gang members.
The task force also seized 188 illegal weapons, filed 1,001 criminal cases with 437 gang enhancements, conducted 1,992 probation searches and served 226 search warrants last year, according to Pacheco.
“Unless we are there to stop them, the gang members will continue to advance their criminal enterprises,” Pacheco said.
According to the District Attorney’s office, the task force was formed in 2006, when it made 857 arrests.
In 2007, task force operatives made 1,571 arrests. The previous year, 67 search warrants were served. In 2007, 215 were served, according to statistics provided by the Michael Jeandron, information officer with the District Attorney’s office.
In 2006, the task force generated 409 cases, with 134 enhancements, Jeandrom said, that number going up in 2007 to 896 and 440, respectively.
According to Riverside County Sheriff Stanley Sniff, “The Gang Task Force has been an outstanding example of extremely effective teamwork and collaboration among our local, state and federal law enforcement partners.
“We have firmly and decisively moved to aggressively counter the growing Southern California gang menace, making all of our own Riverside County community far safer in the face of that very serious threat,” Sniff said.
There was no immediate information on how many arrests stemmed from the search warrants and probation and parole searches.
Up to 20 agencies comprise the task force, including the FBI, the District Attorney’s office, the sheriff’s department, the California Highway Patrol, Murietta, Cathedral City, Corona, Indio, Banning, Desert Hot Springs, Palm Springs and Hemet police; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Office of the Inspector General and various departments under the aegis of the sheriff, including Coachella, La Quinta and Temecula police.