07/26/2006

60-plus members of violent gang arrested in N.J. raids

The Associated Press

WEST TRENTON, New Jersey- Officers arrested more than 60 members of a notoriously violent street gang in a series of raids across New Jersey early Tuesday that also turned up drugs and guns and led to the arrests of four leaders accused of directing operations from prison.

More than 60 people connected with the Nine Trey Gangsters, part of the Bloods gang, had been arrested by noon Tuesday, and as many as 40 more arrests were expected in cities across the state, including Newark, Trenton and Atlantic City, authorities said.

The targets represent more than a third of the gang's membership in the state, including several top leaders.

"The aim was to dismantle this set of the Bloods gang," said Anne Milgram, First Assistant Attorney General.

State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes called the operation the biggest in state history, both in the number of gang members arrested and the impact on the gang.

Fuentes described the Nine Treys, also known as 9-3, as the "most violent and fear-invoking" of the state's street gangs. The gang dealt in narcotics and weapons trafficking, extortion and assault, and its members are believed responsible for an unspecified number of murders and drive-by shootings, he said.

During the raids, police seized heroin, crack cocaine, marijuana and guns.

Investigators had infiltrated the gang during an 11-month investigation, though agency representatives would not say how because the investigation is ongoing.

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