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Sweep nets 31 on weapons, drug charges in California

An alleged gang, supposedly operating from inside the walls of a local prison, was the source of a number of arrests recently. Federal, state and local investigators worked together to arrest the individuals all over California state and beyond. The charges for each individual varied, but most were taken on weapons or drug charges.

Authorities say that the operation was controlled by two inmates of Pelican Bay State Prison. Police allege that these two individuals used smuggled cell phones to order the crimes and communicate with gang members in other locations. The two incarcerated men were charged with drug trafficking and using a cell phone to order drug trafficking in and out of prison. 

The remainder of the arrested individuals were mostly linked to selling drugs and guns over social media sites. The arrests were mostly linked to the sale and distribution of methamphetamine and heroin, and for the possession of guns as ex-felons. In addition to the 31 charged, 11 other individuals were swept up during the raids on various other charges. It is not clear whether these individuals will be charged. 

A person may end up caught up in a wide-ranging federal sweep when he or she is actually not involved in the gang activity. Since the arrests are wide ranging, a person could find him or herself facing drug charges even though he or she was not a participant in a crime. For individuals in California who wish for help in defending themselves against any type of erroneous charges, they may wish to consult with a defense attorney to review their rights and options. 

Source:, "Sweep targets street gang directed from Pelican Bay State Prison", Don Thompson, Feb. 15, 2018

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