101 arrested in saturation patrol

LA Daily News
Article Last Updated:03/26/2007 09:45:04 PM PDT

LANCASTER – Law enforcement officials are calling a four-day saturation patrol of central Lancaster that concluded Friday the opening salvo of an effort to eradicate the Antelope Valley’s streets of criminal street gangs.

The saturation patrol produced 101 arrests – 38 for felonies and 63 arrests for misdemeanors – and another 57 citations, Palmdale sheriff’s station Lt. Bobby Denham said Monday.

Of those arrested, 56 had outstanding warrants, and five were known gang members, Denham said.

Denham said for arrests were four illegal firearms possession, and 26 involved illegal narcotics possession. Four firearms were recovered, including one shotgun.

Some 60 sheriff’s deputies flooded a roughly 31/2 -square-mile area from Avenues H to J-8 between 20th Streets East and West most of last week in an unprecedented effort that will continue indefinitely, law enforcement officials say.

About 40 out-of-area deputies were summoned to Lancaster, joining existing Community Oriented Policing and High Impact Team units assigned to proactively pursue criminal activity.

Lancaster residents say it was hard not to notice the increased law enforcement presence.

“Everybody’s talking about it, good guys, bad guys, everybody knows about it,” said Lancaster resident Rami Darghalli, who owns Bob’s Market on Avenue I in Lancaster. “It won’t solve the problem completely, but I think it can help. They need to do it more often.”

Denham said the beefed up law enforcement presence isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, noting that similar saturation patrols are planned for Palmdale and surrounding unincorporated regions.

“The number of deputies on the streets are there to send a message to gang members that we’re here and we will continue to be here,” Denham said.

“At the same time we want the public to know that we in law enforcement will do all we can to reduce gangs and crime throughout the entire Antelope Valley.”

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