STOCKTON — Fifty-two suspected Stockton gang members are now behind bars and off the streets.
The Stockton Police Department chalks up the arrests to what they have dubbed “Operation Bloodline” — a months-long operation that targeted two of their city’s most violent gangs.
Cell phone footage shows blocked off streets and police cars through Stockton on Wednesday morning. With 27 warrants served throughout the city, 52 suspected gang members are now behind bars.
“Some relief to our community. But we know it’s not permanent. We know there’s a lot of work to be done,” Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones stated.
On Thursday, Jones, along with the Department of Justice and the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office, revealed details about their months-long mission. They arrested suspected “Taliban” and “Westside Bloods” gang members, who they said are responsible for some of the most violent crimes in the city.
“Grateful for the success of this project and most importantly, we’re grateful that we can tell this neighborhood that their children can play outside,” District Attorney Tori Verber-Salazar of San Joaquin County said.
Jones said they also seized 22 illegal guns, $12,000 in cash and 41 pounds of marijuana.
“I know that our detectives, our district attorneys, our agents worked hard on this. They worked day and night,” Jones said.
He added that gang members are usually to blame for most of the crime in the city. Some of those arrested, face murder charges.
“Westside Blood gang member Eugene Green, 21 years old, was arrested for the June 2015 murder of Stockton resident Kevin Moore,” he said.
But their work is far from over. All of the evidence is now in the hands of the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s office. They said during their last operation they convicted at least 90 percent to 95 percent of suspected gang members.
Jones said they know they’ve made an impact, but it will take more time, more effort, more missions to bring the City of Stockton complete peace.
“However, we know there’s a lot of work to be done yet, and we’re up for it,” Jones said.
The Stockton Police Department said the gangs were also illegally buying firearms and are responsible for a number of armed robberies within the city.