An alleged gang member holed up in a home in La Quinta drew authorities into the cove Wednesday afternoon, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
A portion of Avenida Vallejo was shut down and some residents were asked to evacuate while police served their warrant.
The FBI executed the warrant, and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department assisted in the arrest.
Neighbors were asked to evacuate their homes at around 3 p.m. while authorities surrounded and approached the target home the suspect, Lesco Wooten, 26, was reportedly staying in.
Witnesses said the entire ordeal lasted about an hour.
Wooten was one of 10 suspects outstanding from an FBI gang sweep last week in Los Angeles.
“It’s got to be for drugs or something,” said Dylan Griffel, a witness.
The owner or the home in which Wooten was found said he doesn’t know much about him other than, “That’s my daughter’s boyfriend. She lives in Los Angeles. I live here.”
He didn’t want to be shown on camera or reveal his name. But the owner said that Wooten had been staying in his home for at least a day and a half.
“I don’t know nothing,” he explained. “And, I don’t want to know nothing. That’s just the way I want it. I’m just being honest.”
Wooten is a known gang member or associate of the Pueblo Bishop Bloods in Southern los Angeles.
He is one of more than 40 people the FBI are serving warrants on throughout Southern California in relation to this case.
“But, it’s weird though because all the cops and everything that were here,” said Griffel. “A lot of them are scorpion task force. So, it’s like a drug task force.”
Wooten was wanted for conspiracy to distribute narcotics.
He initially refused to surrender after authorities evacuated several homes in the area and surrounded the target home.
Wooten eventually surrendered after a 20-minute standoff.
“I’m smart enough to stay out of their way,” said a neighbor who did not want to be identified. “As soon as I saw what was going on, I backed off.”
“I just saw them pull one guy out and then the cops came out and did a little huddle,” said Griffel. “They put the guy in custody and backed out the car and then took off.”
The investigation into the Pueblo Bishops is called “Operation Family Ties,” and it has been active for more than two years.