Joint Task Force Raids Phoenix Apartment Complex On Suspicion Of Gang Activity
Law enforcement agencies conducted a series of pre-dawn raids Wednesday morning at an apartment complex in northwest Phoenix. The raids capped a year-long undercover investigation.Police said they were looking into gang-related drug and weapons crimes at the apartments located just south of Glendale at 2500 West Ocotillo.
Assistant Phoenix Police Chief Sandra Renteria said the neighborhood had become paralyzed by the gang’s acts of intimidation, and that police will not allow that to stand. Phoenix Police Sergeant Steve Martos said residents admitted not feeling safe in their own homes.
“These individuals would come out and intimidate other neighbors and residents in this particular area, intimidate and make sure or threaten so they would leave the area so they could conduct their criminal activities," Martos said.
Nine of the 29 people authorities were seeking were arrested, while five others were busted on unrelated charges. The FBI, ATF and the Arizona Department
of Public Safety collaborated on the raid.
Police said they are questioning the manager of the apartment complex about his knowledge of gang activities there. Martos said drugs and weapons were confiscated.
“We had a seizure of crack cocaine, precursor chemicals to make drugs. We had marijuana, prescription drugs that were all seized based upon these search warrants served.” Martos said.
Police refused to name the suspected gang members still at large, because they do not want to alert the suspects officers are looking for them.
Updated 9/4/2013 at 3:06 p.m. Alexandra Olgin contributed to this report.