Lolita Lopez, Beth Slepp-Paz
A major anti-gang operation went down in Montebello Wednesday morning. The raids, part of an investigation dubbed "Operation Sudden Impact," led to 10 arrests and shut the books on several cold cases. Lolita Lopez reports from Montebello for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on May 15, 2013.
Several law enforcement agencies conducted a criminal gang sweep Wednesday morning targeting locations in Montebello.
"Operation Sudden Impact" led to ten arrests and firearms seizures, according to authorities.
The investigation involved the Montebello Police Department, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and other agencies.
“We solved six homicides, seized 600 grams of meth and 20 firearms,” said Steve Bogdalek, ATF special agent in charge.
The state and federal charges against nearly 40 people focused on the Southside Montebello gang, including one of its leaders.
“This man is believed to be the founding member of a clique called 'killer squad,'" LA County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said.
Aerial video showed at least six Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department vehicles in a cul-de-sac. About 19 raids were conducted during the morning operation, prompted by the 2007 shooting of a father and his 12-year-old son at a birthday party, according to an official with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
One of Wednesday's arrests was in connection with that case.
Joseph Corral now lives in the home where those murders took place. He has removed the graffiti that once covered the façade, and is trying to better the only community he has ever known.
“I've heard gunshots before in the street I used to live on, but to know those guys are in jail, it's good to know that,” Corral said.
A federal indictment alleges the subjects arrested Wednesday committed homicides, home invasion robberies, narcotics violations and business extortions.
During a morning news conference, authorities displayed weapons and other items seized during the operation. One of the items was offered for sale to an undercover officer who infiltrated the gang, according to investigators.