LONG BEACH — Police tightened their grip Wednesday on one of the city's oldest gangs believed responsible for a rash of recent shootings, including the attempted murder of two Long Beach Police Department gang detectives last week.
The message to the East Side Longos and their associates was loud and clear as waves of officers swept through Central Long Beach starting around 3 a.m.
A total of 45 homes — all with direct connections to documented gang members — were searched resulting in the arrests of 13 people and the seizure of guns, ammunition and other evidence, said Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell.
"Detectives began to focus on one of the oldest Hispanic gangs in Long Beach who claim territory in this particular area of Central Long Beach, the East Side Longo gang," McDonnell said.
"They soon learned that members of this gang are believed to be responsible for six shootings in the area just within the last two months, including the attempted murder of two Long Beach Gang detectives," the chief explained.
McDonnell said those who carried out the pre-dawn operation included Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies, U.S. Marshals, State Parole agents, County Probation officers, and Department of Children and Family Services case workers.
He gave a special nod of appreciation to the Long Beach Gang investigators who led the operation, Detective Jerry Poole and Detective Brad Scavone.
Mayor Bob Foster thanked
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all the officers and agencies for their work.
"I hope this operation sends a strong message to those who choose to bring harm to the residents of Long Beach, or to the city of Long Beach, that your illegal activities will not be tolerated," Foster said.
Among those arrested in the raids were two male juveniles, both suspected in a no-hit shooting on Dec. 29 in Central Long Beach, the chief said.
The remaining 11 arrests were adults who face charges including parole violations,
Weapons recovered by the Long Beach Police Department during an early morning multi-agency gang enforcement operation that focused on the Eastside Longos where on display for the media during a press conferenceon Wednesday, February 9, 2011. (Diandra Jay/Press-Telegram)weapons possession violations and outstanding warrants, the chief said.
The raids focused largely on the neighborhood surrounding Anaheim Street and Magnolia Avenue, the chief said.
Social workers from DCFS also took four children from unfit homes, McDonnell said.
The arrests included 11 felony and two misdemeanor charges. More than half a dozen guns were seized, including six handguns and rifle, along with ammunition and other gang paraphernalia, the chief said.
The results of the raids were released at a press conference at Long Beach Police headquarters, the such event within less than a week.
The chief addressed members of the media last Friday to announce the arrests of two Long Beach teens for the Jan. 29 attempted murder of two Long Beach Police Department Gang investigators.
Erick Sianez, 19 and David Silva, 19, were charged Friday with a litany of felony counts including attempted murder of a police officer causing great bodily injury and assault with a deadly weapon.
Included in the charges are allegations that the attack was carried out to further their gang's grip on the community.
Silva is being held on $3,040,000 bail while Sianez's bail was listed at $2,040,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 24.
The injured detective — who police have declined to identify — was shot in the upper body in an area not protected by his bullet proof vest, the chief said.
According to police reports, the two suspects drove up to a group of people near MacArthur Park at about 10:50 p.m. on Jan. 29 and fired several shots in the air.
As the suspects drove away they approached a police car with two gang detectives inside, authorities said.
When the detectives turned to investigate the suspects fired multiple rounds at them as they drove past. Even though the detective behind the wheel was shot he tried to go after the suspects but was unable to do so, the chief said.
He was rushed to a local hospital by his partner and has been treated and released, the chief said Wednesday.
"He's at home doing well and expected to make a full recovery," McDonnell said. "We were very lucky with that one."
It appears as though only one suspect fired the two shots that struck the police vehicle, the chief said last week.
Another group of officers in the area on an unrelated investigation also heard the shots and saw the suspects fire on their fellow officers' car, the chief said.
Witnesses said the suspects tossed the handgun out of their car's window as they fled. It was later recovered by police.
According to the chief, the detectives were in an easily recognizable police vehicle equipped with emergency lights and sirens and a license plate scanner.
Both investigators were in uniform and are well-known by local gang members, he added.
Asked if Wednesday's operation shed any more light on whether the suspects went out that night to take out a police officer and the chief said he could not speculate or discuss the motive due to the on-going investigation.
"We're still sorting through the items that were seized pursuant to the warrants," McDonnell explained.
The chief said later that two detectives were working in the area that night because of the gang's aggressive rash of shootings.
"I firmly believe that because those officers were there that night they saved the life of someone else in that community."email@example.com