NEWS, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Special Agent Jennifer Cicolani, PIO, Office: 213-798-1542, Jennifer.Cicolani@atf.gov
Contact: Lt. Jeff Hallock, OCSD, Office: 714-904-7042, JHallock@ocsd.org
UNDERCOVER OPERATION TARGETS STANTON-AREA GANGS
STANTON, Calif. – A task force made up of special agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and officers with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD), today arrested 10 people for various firearm and narcotics violations as the result of an investigation dubbed “Operation Western Front.”
This morning’s arrests are the result of a sixteen-month investigation into gang members and other individuals engaged in illegal firearms and narcotics trafficking in Stanton, California and surrounding areas. By utilizing undercover agents, investigators were able to purchase 17 firearms, approximately nine pounds of methamphetamine, a ballistic vest, and other contraband.
Over the past few weeks, a federal grand jury in Orange County returned eight indictments that charge a total of 11 defendants with felon in possession of a firearm, distribution of methamphetamine, and possession of counterfeit currency. Two of the defendants named in the federal indictments were arrested this morning and eight were previously taken into custody.
In addition to the federal defendants, 22 defendants were named in state complaints. Eight people were arrested this morning and eight were previously taken into custody. State charges are expected to be prosecuted by the Orange County District
“ATF and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department teamed-up knowing that if we effectively and efficiently leveraged our resources and specialties, we could accomplish much more together than we could alone. From the outset, we had a clear plan, a sharp focus, and an endgame for running an investigation that would impact the community for the better,” said acting ATF Special Agent in Charge John D’Angelo. “Thanks to a ton of great work on the street level by all of our partners, we have accomplished what we set out to do.”
“The Orange County Sheriff’s Department has a proud tradition of working collaboratively with our Federal, State and local partners. This investigation demonstrates the impact and effectiveness of law enforcement partnerships,” said Sheriff Sandra Hutchens.
The investigation was led by ATF and the OCSD with the assistance of the Montebello Police Department, Long Beach Police Department, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
More information about ATF and its programs is available at www.atf.gov<http://www.atf.gov/>.