STOCKTON, Calif. — Key leaders of a Cambodian street gang suspected in multiple killings and a nationwide drug trafficking operation were arrested Wednesday morning as part of the state's largest gang bust this year, California Attorney General Jerry Brown said.
The head of the Stockton-based Loc Town Crips and about 35 other alleged gang members were taken into custody on suspicion of multiple weapons and drug offenses, as well as probation and other violations, according to the Attorney General's Office. Authorities also seized 26 firearms, including three paramilitary-style assault weapons.
One alleged gang member previously was arrested for homicide as part of the six-month investigation, authorities said.
Loc Town Crips members have participated in four drive-by shootings in Stockton since January and operate drug and gun trafficking networks stretching from California to Rhode Island, Brown said.
"Today's major take down ends the reign of one of the most sophisticated and vicious gangs operating in California today," Brown said.
The Loc Town Crips identify with the label LTC and the color blue, and many of the gang's 100 members speak both English and Khmer, Brown said. Members often used commercial package services to deliver methamphetamine, ecstasy and marijuana, and routed the drug proceeds to pay for weapons they used in drive-by shootings targeting rival gangs.
Agents from the state Department of Justice coordinated the sweep, with help from the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office, the Stockton Police Department, the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office and other agencies.
The sweep went smoothly with little resistance from suspects, most of whom were asleep when authorities rousted them from bed, according to the Attorney General's Office.