At least 30 arrested in gang crackdown in Wilmington

By Andrew Blankstein, Times Staff Writer
10:39 AM PDT, July 31, 2007

Local and federal authorities fanned out across the “ghost town” area of Wilmington early today as part of a gang crackdown, arresting more than two dozen people suspected of drug dealing and other criminal activity.

Several hundred law enforcement personnel from agencies including the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Los Angeles Police Department participated in the raids, which began at 4 a.m. and lasted until midmorning.

In all, 23 locations were searched, resulting in at least 30 arrests by late morning, police said.

Although police executed search warrants across Los Angeles County, most of their attention was focused on the 12-square-block area of Wilmington known as the “ghost town,” said LAPD spokesman Sgt. Lee Sands.

The target of the operation was the 75-member “Eastside Pain” gang and its affiliates, who have held a violent grip on the neighborhood for more than three decades, authorities said. Nine families control the drug dealing, which brought customers from Long Beach, the Harbor-Gateway area and San Pedro, police said.

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