Police Round Up Street Gang Members
Multi-agency effort takes down leaders of Bloods street gang in
Operation Dawg Pound
West Trenton, N.J. – In the second operation under a new intelligence-led policing initiative directed against street gangs, federal, state and local agencies today arrested numerous members of the violent Bloods street gang in a cooperative strike. Operation Dawg Pound targeted the gang’s presence in central New Jersey—predominantly in Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean counties.
More than two-dozen people have been charged with crimes including conspiracy to commit murder, racketeering, distribution of CDS, and transfer of weapons.
The announcement by Attorney General Stuart Rabner, State Police Superintendent Colonel Rick Fuentes, and Criminal Justice Director Gregory Paw and Gerard P. McAleer, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge took place in the newly opened Regional Operations Intelligence Center (ROIC) at State Police headquarters.
“Today’s operation reflects a new, aggressive law enforcement model that we’re using to take down the most violent street gangs,” said Attorney General Rabner. “It’s a model that starts with effective intelligence gathering by the State Police and other agencies, and brings in state prosecutors at the outset, to ensure that we dismantle the hierarchy of these gangs with solid cases. We will continue to work with our many law enforcement partners to target gangs terrorizing our communities.”
“Gang members, awoke this morning to the terrifying sounds of their impending arrests. A new day has come and street gangs have been targeted as an untenable threat to public safety and peace in our state,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes. “Gang members, you bring this upon yourselves. The degree to which your crimes degrade the quality of life in New Jersey determines the amount of law enforcement attention your gang receives, and starts the countdown to its demise.”
“Today’s street gangs reflect a higher level of organization and a wider range of activity, including drug and gun trafficking, money laundering and the use of violence to protect and expand their illegal operations,” said Director Paw. “Fortunately, the more these gang members do, the more we can charge them with. We’re doing our best to throw the book at them.”
Gerard P. McAleer, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, New Jersey Division stated, “We will continue to provide federal resources to our state and local law enforcement partners in order to dismantle and eliminate violent gangs and their drug trafficking organizations. The cooperation between agencies was paramount to the success of this criminal organization being eliminated from our community.”
“Street gangs have unfortunately learned the power of networking, but through a robust intelligence sharing effort assisted by the ROIC, police agencies are retaking the initiative and retaking the streets in the name of law and order,” said Lt. Colonel Frank Rodgers, Deputy Superintendent of Investigations.
In July 2006, Operation Nine Connect targeted the Nine-Trey set of the Bloods, and provided a rich reward in intelligence, which led to other investigations, including Operation Dawg Pound. The concept of intelligence-led policing requires analysts to create threat assessments based on both reported crimes and intelligence sources.
In 2005, Trenton had its highest murder rate ever with 31 deaths. Nineteen of those were attributed to gang violence; the majority of those were related to the Bloods. Furthermore, over a five-day period in the spring of 2006, Bloods were believed to be responsible for 15 Trenton shootings. More recently, a spate of shootings in the Lakewood area were also attributed to gang activity, and specifically to the Bloods.
Today’s arrests were effectuated by tactical teams of law enforcement officers backed up by helicopter surveillance, police canines, undercover detectives, and intelligence resources located at the ROIC. At the time of this writing, approximately two-dozen people are currently arrested and in custody and five more wanted on warrants. Teams executed additional search warrants. Approximately three pounds of powder cocaine, 300 grams of crack cocaine, distribution quantities of heroin, $100,000 in currency and nine weapons including a loaded Mac-11 sub-machine gun with a silencer have been seized this morning. Numerous spin-off investigations are expected to result from the intelligence gathered through today’s raids.
Bail for all of the gang-related targets ranges from $250,000 to $1,000,000.
Operation Dawg Pound developed over eight months of investigations involving 18 agencies including:
- New Jersey State Police
- N.J. Division of Criminal Justice
- U.S. Attorney’s Office
- U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office
- Mercer County Sheriff’s Office
- Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office
- Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office
- Asbury Park Police Department
- Dover Township Police Department
- Ewing Police Department
- Freehold Boro Police Department
- Jackson Township Police Department
- Lakewood Police Department
- Long Branch Police Department
- Trenton Police Department
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