30 arrested in large-scale Gwinnett 'gang sweep'



LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gwinnett County police led a large-scale, multi-departmental "gang sweep" Wednesday, arresting an estimated 30 gang members for alleged crimes ranging from burglary to murder.

Police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said about 70 Gwinnett police officers and additional members of parole and probation offices, the U.S. Marshals and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives set up shop at Norcross' North Atlanta Trade Center Wednesday morning, launching the sweep as the culmination of an eight-month investigation.

Beginning on Castor Drive in Norcross at about 6 a.m., officers and agents "went all over the place," Smith said. He said about 20 gang-connected suspects were arrested on warrants issued just for the sweep, with several more charged during the course of the day.

Charges ranged from theft, burglary and robbery to murder, Smith said, as well as those stemming from gang activity statutes.

Officials would not release information regarding what specific gang or gangs were targeted, saying more details would be unveiled at a press conference scheduled for early next week.

Smith did say Wednesday's arrests would likely lead to "lots of follow-up investigations."

"Hopefully we'll be solving a lot of these problems on a long-term basis," he said.