Gang impact team in Hemet area makes 58 arrests and seizure of six firearms
■ Riverside County District Attorney / Contributed
More than 50 people were arrested and six weapons were seized on Aug. 30 during Operation Valley Vigilance II, the second phase of an ongoing investigation by the Riverside County Gang Impact Team, which is supervised by the DA’s Office.
The operation in the Hemet and San Jacinto Valley areas saw 30 teams of local, state, and federal law enforcement officers serving 41 arrest warrants and 21 search warrants. Along with the 58 arrests made today, 48 people had already been arrested, along with 45 firearms and more than five pounds of methamphetamine seized over the last few months as part of Operation Valley Vigilance II.
Operation Valley Vigilance I, which culminated on June 29, 2017, resulted in 57 arrests and the seizure of 77 firearms leading to a total of the two operations of 163 arrests and the seizure of 128 firearms and more than 11 pounds of methamphetamine.
“In this county, we have a remarkable level of cooperation within our law enforcement agencies. We will continue to do this as long as our citizens are victimized by gang members,” DA Mike Hestrin said at an afternoon news
conference in Hemet where he was joined by other law enforcement and elected officials announcing the results of Operation Valley Vigilance II.
“Today is a good day for the people of the San Jacinto Valley,” Hemet Police Chief Rob Webb said. “Today’s operation shows the results of months of high-level investigative and undercover operations conducted by the Gang Impact Team.”
The primary focus of Operation Valley Vigilance has been to reduce crime and violence in the area while targeting organized crime, wanted felons, and those trafficking weapons and drugs. The agencies in the Gang Impact Team are: DA’s Bureau of Investigation; U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Federal Bureau of Investigation; U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations; U.S. Border Patrol; U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General; Hemet Police Department; Palm Springs Police Department; Corona Police Department; and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Special Services Unit.
Other agencies participating in today’s operation include: Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Riverside County Probation Department, California Highway Patrol, Drug Enforcement Administration, California Division of Parole Operations, Banning Police Department, Murrieta Police Department, Riverside Police Department, Indio Police Department, Cathedral City Police Department, Ontario Police Department, and the U.S. Marshals Service.