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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.

Comments

CD 2 years, 4 months ago

Perhaps the kids making out in the movie parking lot was just a warmup and a courage-building exercise. At any rate, it's about time taxpayer funds were spent on this type of operation where real crimes actually take place. Of course, I understand perhaps why the kids may have been a target, they were not going to shoot back.

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Cleanupguy 2 years, 4 months ago

Whoa, CD - not sure where that uncalled for venom came from, but murder is a long way from kids making out in a parking lot. Had we listened to the Tea Party when Bannister tried to cut police funding, this bust might not have happened. Darn that old Constitution for not allowing these punks to be arrested just because it was a nice day outside. Anyway, as always, great job GCPD!

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SuxBeanU 2 years, 4 months ago

I, for one, would like to thank all those involved in this clean up effort. These gangs destroy the quality of life in Gwinnett County, so KUDOS to all those trying to clean up Gwinnett.

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LilburnLady 2 years, 4 months ago

CD, police officers do not get to pick and choose which laws they will enforce and which ones they won't. Personally, if I owned a movie theater, I wouldn't want sexual activity to be going on in my parking lot out front. In addition, the cop had no way to know if the people engaging in sex in a public place were being consensual, if a rape were taking place or if one of the parties may have been underaged.

The gang activity in this county has become serious and I see signs of it everyday in my area. However, catching a gang member in the act of committing a crime is rare and convictions in a court of law require solid evidence, only gained through months of undercover investigation and through tips from informants. I am glad to see the police spending the time to build cases against these gang members prior to arresting them. That means a higher conviction rate and more efficient use of our tax dollars to take dangerous criminals off of our streets. The occasional indecent exposure arrest is just a bonus.

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CD 2 years, 4 months ago

I stand by my post. Unless you're willing to provide unlimited resources, in the form of tax dollars, then the tax dollars need be spent where they do the most good. Given a choice of "parking" enforcement or bringing the gangs under control, I choose the latter. With the crime levels being what they are, then I say fight the most serious crime first. Once that is under control, run around and arrest kids with their pants down all you like.

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Cleanupguy 2 years, 4 months ago

CD - Maybe we should each just carry around a list of the particular laws that we don’t like and don’t care to worry about. Luckily, GCPD has regularly stopped people for traffic offenses and found everything from rolling meth labs to murderers. The reality is that if they’re not concerned with the laws on the list that you’ve made, they’ll not hesitate to break those that are not.

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CD 2 years, 4 months ago

So, you're saying that anyone that breaks the law, and I don't deny the kids were breaking the law, should be arrested? Jailed? I'm simply saying that they should investigate, and once they determine no one is in danger, etc., then tell the kids to put their pants on and go home.

There is such thing as law enforcement without the need to place anyone under arrest. Enforcing the law does not NECESSARILY indicate an arrest SHOULD be made. It's okay to use discretion. We should expect that of any law enforcement body and trust they will use the discretion wisely.

Again, fight the serious battles first and do what is TRULY needed to clean this county up, and then once the county streets are remotely safe, treat the kids with loose belts as enemy combatants for all I care. Ship the kiddos off to Guantanamo and be done with it. But first we need to address the serious crime issues we have in this county with the limited resources that we have.

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dav 2 years, 4 months ago

except for the Guantanamo part

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jawjagirl420 2 years, 4 months ago

CD, Did you even READ the article? Two people were TICKETED in an incident involving sex in a parking lot in a separate article. Who will be paying for the unwanted pregnancy culminating from that set of circumstances? WE WILL! Furthermore, this article clearly states "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." What more do you need? Its obvious to me that there was a lot of forethought before these arrests, what are YOU missing?

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CD 2 years, 4 months ago

I didn't miss anything. Just bringing a topic forward.

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Sthrnldy 2 years, 4 months ago

"So, you're saying that anyone that breaks the law, and I don't deny the kids were breaking the law, should be arrested? Jailed?"

@ CD YES, you get caught breaking the law you should be arrested, regardless of how minir you think the "crime" is. These kids were have sex in a parking lot in a very obvious place! The arresting officer most likely didn't have to search for them, they were out in the open in a busy shopping area!

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