TUCSON, Ariz. — A nearly yearlong investigation between federal and local
authorities has resulted in the arrests of 16 suspected gang members and the
seizure of more than 80 firearms, authorities said Wednesday.
A joint investigation between the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms
and Explosives, Tucson police, the Arizona Department of Public Safety and
others came to a head before sunrise Wednesday, when police began executing
search warrants at nine different homes and businesses believed to be illegally
run by suspected members of the Eastside Crips.
Police nabbed 16 of the 17 suspects for whom they had arrest warrants.
The suspects have not been identified because the investigation, which spans
other states, is ongoing, and police expect to make more arrests, Tucson police
spokesman Sgt. Pete Dugan said.
“A lot of the individuals we talked to today are suspects in shootings and
felony crimes,” Dugan said.
Police have known of a Crips presence in Tucson for a long time, he said. “I
wouldn’t say it’s like a huge problem. But anytime you have a criminal gang like
this doing what they’re doing, it’s obviously a problem in the community,”
Authorities searched a music recording studio and other locations mostly in the
east and south sides of Tucson.
The investigation also resulted in arrests in Florida, North Carolina and New
York, Dugan said. A spokesman for the ATF did not immediately run calls seeking
The suspects were charged with racketeering, money laundering, participation in
a street gang, illegally controlling an enterprise and several drug counts.